China's exports tumbled the most in three years in February while imports fell for a third straight month, pointing to a further slowdown in the economy despite a spate of support measures.
The European Central Bank has confirmed it is ending its huge net asset purchase program to stimulate the Eurozone economy this month. The ECB has stopped its bond-buying scheme, worth €30bn a month, despite a recent slowdown in the bloc's recovery.
Brexit will have a bigger economic impact on the UK than the European Union, the former head of the European Central Bank has told BBC Radio 5 Live. Jean-Claude Trichet added the break-up was “totally contrary to the new world” of large emerging economies, with single currencies and single markets.
Stocks in Europe reversed earlier gains by Thursday's close to finish lower, as investors digested fresh news out of the central banking sphere. The pan-European STOXX 600 closed down 0.15%, with the majority of sectors falling into negative territory. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slipped 0.43% by the close, while France's CAC 40 ended a touch lower, off 0.08%, and Germany's DAX rose 0.19%.
The Euro skidded to a 20-month low after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he would resign following a stinging defeat on constitutional reform that could destabilize the country's shaky banking system. Renzi's defeat deals a body blow to the European Union already reeling under anti-establishment anger that led to the shock exit of UK from the club in June this year.
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.
The German government sold five-year notes at a negative yield for the first time in its history on Wednesday. The milestone comes as the European Central Bank prepares to begin a bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, in hopes of stimulating growth in economies across the Continent.
Inflation in France, the Euro zone's second-biggest economy, was negative in January for the first time in more than five years, the national statistics agency said on Thursday.Prices declined by 0.4% in January compared to the same month last year, INSEE said, noting that France has not seen negative inflation since October 2009.
Denmark has cut its key interest rate to prevent the Krone from strengthening in the wake of Switzerland's decision to scrap the franc's peg to the Euro. There has been speculation that Denmark could follow the Swiss move by removing the Krone's link to the Euro.
Leading economies are showing a steady growth trend overall, although Britain is doing particularly well and Japan and Germany are showing signs of losing pace, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) said on Monday.