Interest rates in the Euro zone will not rise until next year at the earliest, the European Central Bank has signaled amid evidence of a slowdown in the 19 countries using the single currency. The ECB also unveiled a round of fresh stimulus, offering banks cheap loans to try to help revive the economy.
The Euro has fallen against the dollar after disappointing French and German economic surveys dismayed the markets. In France, private sector business activity contracted for the first time in two and a half years as the gilets Jaunes protests took their toll.
Asian shares wobbled on Friday as investors braced for U.S. tariffs against China, while the Euro flirted with two-week lows after a cautious European Central Bank indicated it would not raise interest rates for some time. U.S. President Donald Trump has made up his mind to impose “pretty significant” tariffs and will unveil a list targeting US$ 50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday, an administration official said. Beijing has warned that it was ready to respond.
Italy’s two anti-establishment parties promised on Friday to ramp up spending in a program for a new coalition government, putting them on a collision course with the European Union despite having dropped some of their most radical proposals.
Sterling fell against the dollar and euro on Monday as investors worried about Theresa May's ability to stay on as British prime minister and get what they consider to be a good exit deal from the European Union.
The Euro has risen after pro-EU Emmanuel Macron won France's presidential vote by a large margin. The single currency strengthened 0.2% against the dollar as investors were reassured over the future stability of the European project. Macron has proposed cutting corporation tax and changes to the labour market.
The value of the Euro jumped to a five-month high, after the first round of voting in the French presidential election on Sunday. Results indicate that independent pro Europe pro deregulation Emmanuel Macron, and far-right Marine Le Pen are through to the final round.
Front National leader Marine Le Pen has called for a new French currency and pledged to hold a referendum on the country’s membership of the European Union if she is elected French President later this year.
Many travelers buying foreign currency at the UK's airports are now receiving less than one Euro to the pound, reports the BBC. The continued fall in sterling's value means that the average rate available at 17 airport bureaux de change is now just 99 euro cents to the pound. The worst rate is currently 88 Euro cents at Moneycorp at Southampton airport and the best is €1.06 from the Change Group at Glasgow Prestwick.
The European Central Bank bought 348 million Euros of corporate bonds in the first three days of such purchases last week, it said on Monday, as part of its 1.74 trillion Euro scheme to revive growth and inflation. The figures are at the upper end of analyst predictions, indicating a strong start for the program and suggesting that the ECB was keen to show it can buy significant volumes.