The ECB decided to taper bond buys to 60 billion euros per month from April 2017 and also extends the program from March to December 2017. They did not wait for the press conference.
So, instead of 6 months x 80 billion = 480, we got 9 months x 60 billion = 540. The total is more bond buying, despite a slower pace. The low so far is 1.0730, and the pair is now waiting for Draghi. The staff at the central bank will present new forecasts.
EUR/USD jumped to 1.0870 but retreated to 1.0820. Update: EUR/USD is already down to 1.0740.
Here is the key passage from the statement:
From April 2017, the net asset purchases are intended to continue at a monthly pace of €60 billion until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim. If, in the meantime, the outlook becomes less favourable or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment of the path of inflation, the Governing Council intends to increase the programme in terms of size and/or duration.
The European Central Bank was expected to leave the interest rates unchanged at its last meeting of 2016. The main lending rate stands at 0% and the deposit rate at -0.40%. The bigger question is about the QE program: will they taper it down from the current €80 billion / month or extend it beyond March 2017? That is the main question.
We will get answers in the press conference. President Mario Draghi will take the stage at 13:30 GMT in an event that usually provides drama. Here is our full preview: Draghi drag or top-tapering?
EUR/USD traded just under 1.08, seeming trigger-happy to rally. Resistance awaits at 1.0820 and 1.0960. Support is at 1.0710 and 1.0660.
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