Cautious ECB slams Euro, boosts stocks - CMC Markets

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Attention now turns to ECB President Mario Draghi's 1230 GMT news conference, in which he is likely to provide further hints on the bank's policy shift and unveil fresh economic forecasts.

Euro slides: The euro has slumped 2.5% against the U.S. dollar after the European Central Bank announced plans Thursday to end its €2.5 trillion ($2.9 trillion) stimulus program at the end of 2018.

The central bank has undertaken an unprecedented programme of stimulus since the eurozone debt crisis.

"The Governing Council anticipates that, after September 2018, subject to incoming data confirming the Governing Council's medium-term inflation outlook, the monthly pace of the net asset purchases will be reduced to Euro 15 billion until the end of December 2018 and that net purchases will then end", the bank said in a statement on Thursday.

Investors, though, seized on comments indicating that interest rates would stay at record lows at least through the summer of 2019, and some analysts believed it might be longer.

With Thursday's decision, the ECB's rate on bank overnight deposits, which is now its primary interest rate tool, remains at -0.40 percent.

The dollar slipped 0.05 percent to 110.57 yen, retreating from a three-week high of 110.9 yen.

The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed on the day at 94.761. The global crude benchmark, meanwhile, gave up almost all of the gains it saw a day earlier on the possibility that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will decide to boost output when members and other major oil producers meet next week. Its latest move came Wednesday, when it raised its benchmark rate by another quarter of a percentage point and indicated two more increases may come this year thanks to the improving economy.

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Benefiting from the ECB's decision were stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic.

The rate of inflation is expected to be 1.7% in 2018, up from the 1.4% predicted previously due to higher oil prices.

Tumpel-Gugerell added that the European Central Bank suggestion that rates would remain where they are until the end of next summer was the first time in many years that the European Central Bank had been explicit on tying rate moves to dates. "It doesn't seem like we're at the stage where the hawks are on top of things".

"Uncertainties related to global factors, including the threat of increased protectionism, have become more prominent, the risk of persistent, heightened financial market volatility warrants monitoring", said Mr Draghi.

At 12:55 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 26.64 points, or 0.11 percent, at 25,174.56, the S&P 500 was up 5.66 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,781.29 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 56.87 points, or 0.74 percent, at 7,752.57.

Technology stocks were the biggest advancers, with Facebook and Alphabet leading the pack.

It stretched overnight losses to brush $1.1555, lowest since May 30.

US President Donald Trump has made up his mind to impose "pretty significant" tariffs and will unveil a list targeting United States dollars 50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday, an administration official said.

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