The euro was deep under water on Friday having suffered its steepest daily fall in three years after the European Central Bank stunned markets by cutting interest rates and embarking on a trillion-euro asset-buying binge. The aggressive shift sent short-term bond yields into negative territory in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Austria, giving investors an overwhelming incentive to sell euros for higher yielding assets elsewhere.
That stood in stark contrast to the United States where upbeat data only reinforced the case for the Federal Reserve to wind down its stimulus, driving the dollar higher and sideswiping oil and gold in the process. Stock prices in Europe climbed to new records in response, though Wall Street succumbed to a bout of jitters ahead of the U.S. payrolls report due later on Friday.
The Dow .DJI fell 0.05 percent, the S&P 500 .SPX 0.15 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC 0.22 percent. In Asia, Tokyo’s Topix .TOPX added 0.44 percent to be within a whisker of its January peak. A break there would take it to levels last seen in July 2008.
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