Euro pinned at two-month lows as USA yields weigh


The bank also reiterated that its bond purchasing scheme would remain at its current monthly pace of €30bn until at least the end of September 2018, or until the council had seen a sustained change in inflation towards its target of almost two per cent.

The ECB has pledged to buy €30 billion a month of debt until at least September, taking holdings to €2.55 trillion.

The main refinancing rate, which determines the cost of credit in the economy, remained unchanged at 0.00 percent while the rate on the marginal lending facility - the emergency overnight borrowing rate for banks - remains at 0.25 percent.

Attention now turns to Draghi's news conference, during which he is expected to argue that growth is still solid and could point to higher oil prices and some improvement in underlying inflation. "Some people in the market will be disappointed by that, but ECB President (Mario) Draghi has been starkly clear about the Governing Council's position", wrote Carl Weinberg, chief global economist at High Frequency Economics.

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The eurozone posted its strongest economic expansion in a decade in 2017, but started this year with a slump in output and confidence that threatens to slow the central bank's progress toward its inflation goal.

With the bond-buying scheme due to expire in September, the European Central Bank will have to decide in June or July whether to extend purchases or wind them down.

In particular focus is what European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has to say about a recent softening in euro zone economic data, which has prompted investors to push back expectations for a rate rise further into 2019.

The Euro to US Dollar (EUR/USD) exchange rate could find a rallying point ahead of the weekend, though, on the back of the latest US gross domestic product data.

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Business sentiment has already taken a hit, particularly in export-focused Germany, and a full-fledged trade war could quickly hurt growth - a risk already highlighted by policymakers at the ECB's March meeting.

US Dollar (USD) exchange rates found an additional boost on Tuesday as the 10-year US Treasury yield rose above three percent for the first time in more than four years, surpassing a psychologically significant barrier. However, frequent suggestions of underlying weak inflation have called that timeline into question. At the International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington last week, Draghi maintained his optimism, stating: "Notwithstanding the latest economic indicators, which suggest that the growth cycle may have peaked, the growth momentum is expected to continue".

The impact of the euro's strength has been relatively limited so far, however.

The dollar hovered near 3-1/2-month highs against a basket of currencies, supported by the rise in USA long-term debt yields to a four-year peak. For these reasons, we think the statement will probably sound slightly more cautious and the balance of risk a bit less upbeat than in March.

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