The nomination of Christine Lagarde as European Central Bank president on Tuesday has thrust the International Monetary Fund into an early, unanticipated search for a new leader amid a raging trade war that has darkened the outlook for global growth.
The summit of 28 European Union leaders has ended without an agreement on who should take on the bloc's top jobs. The talks, held in Brussels, continued until the early hours of Friday morning without candidates being finalized.
Latin American stocks and currencies surged on Tuesday with a dovish boost from the European Central Bank and positive headlines from the U.S.-China trade tensions boosting sentiment.
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.