ECB to unveil next small steps in stimulus withdrawal

The European Central Bank is set to hold interest rates at a record low level of 1.0 percent and detail the next steps in its gradual withdrawal from emergency lending measures at its monthly meeting on Thursday. With Greece’s debt troubles unsettled and concerns growing about the fragility of Europe’s recovery, the ECB is also expected to cast a cautious tone on the economy and keep staff forecasts for growth and inflation largely unchanged. The 87 economists polled by Reuters were unanimous in predicting no change in rates this month and on average expected the first rise only in the fourth quarter. [ECB/INT] Thursday’s focus instead will be on what changes it plans to make to the extra liquidity it has provided for the banking system since the worst days of the financial crisis in 2008, with markets primed for some minimal tightening of conditions — most likely in access to 3- and 6-month money. [Read the full article]

{loadposition in-article}

The euro extended gains versus the U.S. dollar to trade above $1.37 in midday trading on Wednesday. The euro rose as high as $1.3720, according to Reuters data, the highest level since Feb. 17. It last traded at $1.3717 EUR=, up 0.8 percent on the day. The euro found support after Greece pledged $6.5 billion in pay cuts and tax increases to reduce its deficit, easing worries about the country’s debt crisis. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Charles Rangel temporarily stepped aside as chairman of the powerful tax-writing House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday after being admonished last week by a House ethics panel. Greece’s austerity plan may encourage its European neighbors to lend a hand, but markets are not convinced the Greek tragedy is over.  Full Article | Related Story  Only a few months ago, everyone was busy worrying about the dollar sinking. Then Greece happened. [Read the full article]

Mexican stocks jumped on Wednesday as investors bet budget cutting plans by Greece would help clinch aid from Europe for Athens, which supported emerging market assets. The IPC stock index .MXX rose 1 percent to 32,374, also helped by U.S. data that showed private employers cut fewer jobs in February and a separate survey that showed the services sector grew at its fastest pace in 2 years. (Reporting by Michael O’Boyle, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Charles Rangel temporarily stepped aside as chairman of the powerful tax-writing House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday after being admonished last week by a House ethics panel. Greece’s austerity plan may encourage its European neighbors to lend a hand, but markets are not convinced the Greek tragedy is over.  Full Article | Related Story  Only a few months ago, everyone was busy worrying about the dollar sinking. [Read the full article]

European shares rose for the fourth straight day on Wednesday, boosted by upbeat U.S. economic data, optimism on Greece’s deficit, and with Standard Chartered (STAN.L) rising after results. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares provisionally ended 0.8 percent higher at 1,035.17 points, its highest close since Jan 21. The benchmark index is up more than 60 percent from a record low it hit on March 9, 2009. StanChart rose 5.7 percent after meeting expectations with a 13 percent jump in 2009 profit, as strong investment banking growth in its core Asian markets offset a jump in bad debts in the Middle East. [ID:nLDE62202N] Other banks to rise included Banco Santander (SAN.MC), Barclays (BARC.L), Lloyds (LLOY.L), UBS (UBSN.VX) and UniCredit (CRDI.MI), up between 2 and 4.2 percent. The U.S. services sector grew in February at its fastest pace in more than two years, and was well ahead of forecasts. according to an industry report released. [Read the full article]

You may also like...