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Euro May Fall as ECB Meeting Minutes Cool Bets on QE Cutback

Euro May Fall as ECB Meeting Minutes Cool Bets on QE Cutback

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points:

  • Euro may fall as ECB minutes cool bets on QE cutback
  • BOE financial conditions surveys unlikely to boost Pound
  • Aussie Dollar gains on retail sales data, Yen pulls back

ECB monetary policy meeting minutes headline the economic calendar in European trading hours. Markets are scouring for signs of stimulus withdrawal across the G10 space – as amply demonstrated in the Yen’s reaction to standard fluctuation in BOJ bond uptake – and any commentary suggesting Mario Draghi and company may alter the path of QE purchases faster than advertised will likely drive Euro volatility.

The ECB’s current €30 billion/month QE program is due to expire in September. Policymakers and markets probably agree that an abrupt end is not desirable. That leaves two options on the table: bond buys may be tapered into the existing end date or the entire program may be extended, allowing for a gradual roll-off into the year-end (and possibly beyond). The ever-cautious ECB would probably opt for the second path.

This assumes the ECB does not find it appropriate to provide more stimulus and extends QE without a tapering component however. In fact, President Draghi’s recent pronouncements have hinted that purchases are in fact open-ended, with September marking a time when markets will be formally updated on the program’s fate rather than an end date. The single currency may fall if today’s release echoes that sentiment.

The Bank of England Credit Conditions and Bank Liabilities surveys are also due to cross the wires. A bit of tightening has understandably taken place since last year’s rate hike but overall lending conditions remain accommodative. Meanwhile, inflation continues to accelerate. Brexit-related worries will probably dilute an overtly hawkish stance however, limiting the reports’ scope to boost the British Pound.

The Japanese Yen turned broadly lower in Asia Pacific trade, with prices seemingly correcting after another strong day on the offensive. Meanwhile, the Australian Dollar traded broadly higher following an impressive set of retail sales data. The currency rallied alongside local bond yields, hinting the rosy outcome fueled a hawkish shift in RBA interest hike expectations. An increase isn’t expected before August however.

Where will the major currencies go in the first quarter of 2018? See our forecasts here!

Asia Session

Euro May Fall as ECB Meeting Minutes Cool Bets on QE Cutback

European Session

Euro May Fall as ECB Meeting Minutes Cool Bets on QE Cutback

** All times listed in GMT. See the full DailyFX economic calendar here.

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com

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