No Surprise-ECB Holds Rates Steady

The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged even as a stronger currency threatens the euro area’s recovery from recession.

Policy makers meeting in Frankfurt today kept the benchmark rate at a record low of 0.75 percent, as forecast by all 60 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. President Mario Draghi holds a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to explain the decision.

Recent indicators suggest the euro-area economy may return to growth later this year, easing pressure on the ECB to lower rates further. At the same time, a rising euro could hurt exports and stymie the recovery before it has begun, and looser monetary policy in the U.S. and Japan may continue to weaken the dollar and the yen.

“The euro is a little bit too strong,” Bernard Charles, Chief Executive Officer at the French software maker Dassault Systemes SA, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. This will “have an effect this year” on the economy and its “capacity to export,” he said.

The common currency rose 0.3 percent to $1.3568 today. It reached a 14-month high against the dollar this month and a three-year high against the yen. It has climbed 11 percent on a trade-weighted basis since Draghi pledged on July 26 to do whatever is needed to preserve Europe’s monetary union.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell