European Central Bank to end bond buying

ECB calls halt to quantitative easing, despite 'soft' euro

ECB calls halt to quantitative easing, despite 'soft' euro

Britain's main stock index rose on Thursday after the European Central Bank signalled interest rates would remain steady through to the next northern summer, easing investors' concerns about tightening monetary policy.

The ECB's move towards ending QE comes a day after the US Federal Reserve made a decision to raise interest rates for the second time this year, and hinted at further rises.

All sectors on the pan-European STOXX 600 index were in negative territory.

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

The euro's 5 per cent fall against the USA dollar since April is also helping the European Central Bank as the weaker currency is increasing the cost of imports and boosting inflation.

The euro was 0.35 percent higher at $1.1608. Fast-forward to April of this year when data showed that US job openings jumped to a record high, far outpacing hiring.

"This is a very fine balance-a bit more hawkish on QE, but rather dovish on rates-that Mario Draghi hopes will keep the markets on an even keel and avoid a taper tantrum", said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com.

ECB president Mario Draghi declined to give more detail about the timing of rate moves in a news conference after the policy meeting held in the Latvian capital Riga, not the bank's Frankfurt headquarters.

In Asia overnight, surprisingly soft Chinese retail sales and investment data had hit sentiment.

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Eyes are now on the May low down at 1.1508. South Korea .KS11 and Taiwan .TWII fell by over 1.8 and 1.4 percent [.T]. Germany's DAX edged down 0.3 percent to 13,072.

The council intends to maintain its policy of reinvesting the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the APP for an extended period of time after the end of the net asset purchases, and for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi explained at a news conference that there were a number of complications for policymakers.

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.

The move was accelerated after data showed that USA retail sales surged in May, causing more buying of the dollar against a number of currencies. The S&P 500 posted 35 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 168 new highs and 32 new lows. Break of the May-low (1.1510) opens up 1.1390 (61.8% retracement), with the next region of interest coming in around 1.1210 (61.8% retracement) to 1.1220 (78.6% retracement).

The dollar stood at 110.06 yen after falling from a three-week high of 110.85 following the Fed's decision.

The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed on the day at 94.761. Data for April was revised up to show sales rising 0.4 percent instead of the previously reported 0.2 percent gain.

Update: As the session continued, the Pound was able to climb versus the US Dollar (GBP/USD) as the trade war tensions between China and the US became heated.

"It tells us that we are looking more at interest rate behavior than QE itself".

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