Global Stock Markets Await ECB Announcement

European shares stalled near a seven-year high and Asian shares hit a six-week peak on Wednesday, a day before the European Central Bank is expected to announce a sovereign bond-buying program to boost the euro zone’s flagging economy.

The expectations of ECB action — with the potential stimulus seen at around 600 billion euros ($690 billion), according to a Reuters poll — also kept euro zone core bond yields near record lows and the euro close to an 11-year trough.

The Japanese yen meanwhile rose by around 1 percent against the U.S. dollar after the Bank of Japan left policy unchanged. While the decision not to expand its stimulus package had been widely expected, some had also bet on a surprise move as inflation targets looked elusive.

In London, sterling fell and equities rose after the minutes of British central bankers’ last policy meeting showed a rate rise was less likely. Two policymakers dropped their call for higher rates in the face of tumbling inflation.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 equity index was down 0.3 percent, at 1,418.46 points, while the MSCI World Index was flat. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.4 percent.

U.S. equity futures were down 0.3 percent. Shares of International Business Machines Corp fell in pre-market trading after the one-time world technology leader posted profit and revenue targets that were below expectations.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza