A gamble from the ECB?

It’s been another wild session in financial markets and the ECB had the unenviable task today of making a decision on interest rates amid all of the uncertainty and turbulence.

One thing that was clear from Lagarde’s press conference is that it isn’t just markets that expect the tightening cycle may have come to an abrupt end following the events of recent days. Despite hiking by 50 basis points today – as planned and supported by forecasts that were created prior to the recent turmoil – the President refused to commit to further hikes as it did after previous meetings.

That is, of course, a very sensible thing to do in light of such immense uncertainty and the specific situation that is unfolding in the banking sector. And time will tell whether today’s hike has rubbed salt into the wound or represents the necessary continuity and reassurance.

Today was always a case of determining the least worst option and I have no doubt policymakers would have loved nothing more than to postpone for a week, but it didn’t have that luxury. Of all the major central banks, the ECB probably had the least flexibility to pause due to it being so late to the tightening party and therefore behind the curve. Whatever it did would be a risk in some way and now we’ll have to wait and see how lucky it will be.

We’re not seeing too many jitters in the markets at this point but they can obviously materialize at any point. The euro was a little choppy over the course of the press conference, as were bond markets, but the real test will come from how European banks trade over the hours and days ahead. It’s going to be a nervy end to the week and a potentially nervier weekend.

Is the rally sustainable?

Whatever is driving the bitcoin rally right now, it doesn’t look particularly sustainable in light of what’s happening elsewhere in the markets. Time will tell how much support for cryptos there is in these turbulent times but one thing looks clear, it’s going to be a wild ride and there could be many more surprises around the corner that will test any gains made over the last week.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar: www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam
Craig Erlam

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