Then he uttered the magic words, “comfortable with acting next time” and the euro has been on a one-way ticket down. It’s now sitting at nearly three-month lows against the dollar and the yen.
With those words, Draghi raised expectations of easing policy in June.
“The ECB has now officially joined the increasing list of central banks directly or indirectly targeting their exchange rate since the global financial crisis,” wrote Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists led by Athanasios Vamvakidis after the meeting.
“The ECB’s references against euro strengthening—rather than calling directly for a weaker currency—to address deflation risks do not cross the line of G20 commitments against beggar-thy-neighbor policies in our view, but certainly are not fully consistent with market-driven exchange rates,” they added.
In other words, the ECB isn’t breaking any international taboos of directly intervening in the currency market, but indirectly, it’s talking the euro down.
Talk is one thing, action is another. Strategists say for the euro to continue weakening, Draghi must pull the trigger. The question is what will he do?
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