Global politics now the bigger risk — European Central Bank


The upshot is that the European Central Bank kept rates and stimulus settings on hold, and stuck to its "forward guidance" that interest rates will stay low, or lower, beyond the end of the current asset-purchase program in December. Summarizing these forecasts, President Draghi said that "risks of deflation have largely disappeared", and that "the balance of risk regarding growth has improved".

The ECB deleted from its communiqué the sentence stating that it was ready to use "all the instruments available within its mandate" in order to achieve its objectives.

'There is no longer that sense of urgency in taking further actions. Divergence between individual euro-area countries - inflation stood at 0.2 percent in Ireland and 3.1 percent in Belgium in January - is also proving challenging, according to former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King.

The increase in the annual rate of inflation has been attributed to rising energy and food prices, underlying price pressures remaining subdued, while the Governing Council will continue to look through HICP figures.

"We have a generally better economic climate and that somehow needs to be reflected", Anatoli Annenkov of the London branch of Societe Generale said.

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USA 10-year treasuries were marginally weaker at 2.5627% from 2.5606%. EUFN added about 2.1% on March 9, 2017.

During the European Central Bank press conference, the attacks on Germany were raised in a question that referred to the country's trade surpluses and the large surplus for the euro zone as a whole.

Asked about the communique, Draghi said: "I know of the rumors but I don't know what to say about that, where they come from, whether they're true or not".

"Political uncertainty is the biggest threat to the euro area economy and to the ECB's monetary policy". The euro's exchange rate was "determined by market forces".

In currency markets, the euro rose 0.3% against the dollar to 1.0609 and was up 0.46% versus the pound to 0.87347. Similarly for the exchange rate. Unfortunately it wasn't good enough to extend the dollar's gains into the weekend but we expect another leg higher in USD/JPY in the days before the FOMC rate decision. What does this mean for the euro?

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EURUSD is on the edge of a cliff and staring down at 0.82, says Citi FX, the world's largest forex trading firm.

"Part of the story is that they're not happy with negative interest rates", Nick Kounis of Amsterdam-based ABN Amro Bank NV said.

Trump, elected on an "America first" platform of "economic nationalism", may be unwilling to reiterate commitments by the regular gathering of industrialised and emerging nations against protectionism and competitive currency manipulations.

The same issue surfaced in the final question at Draghi's press conference. In keeping with previous meetings though, Draghi was quick to emphasize that the Eurozone economy is still not out of the woods just yet and that further stimulus might be needed if the situation warrants it.

A chief concern is France, where Ms Marine Le Pen has promised to renegotiate the country's membership in the European Union if she is elected president in May.

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His trade adviser Peter Navarro has called the $65 billion USA trade deficit with Germany, which will host the next G20 in Baden-Baden, "one of the most difficult" trade issues.