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EUR Stable Ahead of Possible 'Tweak' of ECB Forward Guidance

EUR Stable Ahead of Possible 'Tweak' of ECB Forward Guidance

Martin Essex, MSTA, Analyst

EURUSD talking points:

- The European Central Bank may remove its ‘easing bias’ when its Governing Council meets on Thursday.

- That would support the Euro, which has so far ignored the inconclusive results of the weekend’s General Elections in Italy.

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ECB ‘tweak’ on the radar

The European Central Bank’s rate-setting Governing Council is almost certain to leave all its monetary policy settings unchanged when it meets this Thursday but there could be a change in its language that would help the Euro.

The ECB will publish a new set of staff economic projections and the possible change in its forward guidance is the removal of a line that says it stands ready to increase its asset-purchase program in terms of size and/or duration. Any removal of this so-called APP easing bias would be seen as making a tightening of policy more likely long-term and would therefore support the Euro-Zone currency.

EURUSD Price Chart, One Hour Timeframe (February 28, 2018 – March 6, 2018)

EUR/USD has been stable ahead of this week's ECB meeting

Chart by IG

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Italian elections

As the chart above shows, the Euro has been stable this week after Sunday’s Italian General Elections, which were inconclusive and could herald the start of weeks of negotiations to form a new government.

One factor helping it has been the vote by Germany’s Social Democratic Party to go into coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc, keeping her in office and providing some stability in the Euro-Zone’s largest economy.

However, the ECB is unlikely to signal the end of the bond-buying program because of what the central bank sees as market turbulence, a firm Euro and below-target inflation. This means no major policy shift is likely until the summer, with a discussion on altering its forward guidance unlikely until the ECB’s April or June meetings.

--- Written by Martin Essex, Analyst and Editor

Feel free to contact me via the comments section below, via email at martin.essex@ig.com or on Twitter @MartinSEssex

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