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21 July 2017, 12:41 | Maryann Sutton
The euro surged against the US dollar Thursday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the currency's level on foreign exchange markets had received "some attention" from his colleagues on the Governing Council.
Attention will now swing to ECB President Mario Draghi, who will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Frankfurt time, or 8:30 a.m.
The sudden moves suggested that some market participants were still unprepared for an end to the stimulus, which the bank says has played a big role in shoring up the economic recovery in the eurozone by keeping a lid on market interest rates.
That means that for the time being its bond buying programme will remain capped at €60 billion per month and its interest rates - a deposit rate of -0.4% for banks, and a base interest rate of 0.0% - will be maintained.
"Ultimately, the expected winding down of stimulus will likely continue to be supportive of the euro".
The bond-buying programme, together with ultra-low interest rates, was created to fend off the threat of deflation hitting the eurozone.
The highly anticipated EuropeanCentral Bank meeting took place today with the announcement that interest rates would remain unchanged at the record low of 0.0%.
The dollar's gain was more striking against the relatively higher yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar and the kiwi against which it has suffered heavy losses in recent weeks as investors added carry trade bets.
The ECB's bond purchases began in March, 2015 in an effort to raise inflation and avoid a crippling downward price spiral.
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World shares hovered at record highs on Thursday, as a cautious-sounding Bank of Japan lifted Asian stocks to a near decade peak and Europe bet on an incremental increase in confidence from the EuropeanCentral Bank at its latest meeting.
"Draghi's choice to state that the EuropeanCentral Bank remain willing to raise QE if necessary was largely disregarded, for we all know that given the current rate of economic improvement, it is only a matter of time until Draghi changes his tone".
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That was enough to spark a recovery in the euro after early losses while the US dollar index .dxy fell to the lowest in 11 months, lifting gold prices.
'Our outlook is optimistic and we aim to achieve growth in underlying earnings in the region of approximately 5% to 15% during 2018, ' said chief executive Mike Ashley.
On the FTSE 100, EasyJet (EZJ) fell to the bottom of the index, down 6% at £13.33, despite the budget airline flagging profits would be higher than expected, at up to £420 million, but still below last year's £495 million.
"There's always risk" surrounding the central bank's possible signals, Anderson said.
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