The ECB announced a significant package to ease monetary policy as updated staff macroeconomic forecasts showed that the inflation outlook had materially deteriorated since December. The measures presented exceeded expectations, but the decision failed to convince markets.
The European Central Bank (ECB) have very much taken the ‘kitchen sink’ approach, surprising market expectations in a variety of ways, not least an expansion of the asset purchase programme to include corporate bonds and opening the door to paying banks to borrow via the longer‑term refinancing operations (LTROs). They hope that the measures announced will ease financial conditions and stimulate new credit creation, leading to stronger growth and a return of inflation to target.
Following a 25% increase in China bankruptcies in 2015, insolvencies will increase 20% in 2016, predicts Euler Hermes. This has implications not only for the "Red Dragon" itself but also for its trading partners. Industrial countries have a relatively robust immune system compared to many emerging markets.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand took the market by surprise and cut its official cash rate by 25bps to 2.25%. Governor Wheeler argued that the deteriorating outlook for global growth, and more specifically the uncertainty surrounding China’s economic prospect, justifies this surprise easing move from the central bank.
The bears performed strongly until the beginning of US session on Wednesday when EUR/USD managed to erode losses and bounce back to 1.10. In the morning on Thursday we see another round of selling pressure, but movements remain quite hesitant. It is all about the ECB meeting today. In December EUR/USD had spiked on disappointment. Bearish outcome of the gathering may send the pair well down to 1.08, in move that is estimated by daily technical indicators. However, the bulls will try to catch the first monthly resistance at 1.1227 in case there is dissatisfaction with the ECB's policy.
The jump in gold ETF holdings during early 2016 has been widely publicised, with the ytd total over 260t, or 18%, higher compared with end-2015 levels. Retail buying of coins and bars has also improved, but less dramatically. Below, we draw on our latest field research, highlighting key trends, for both gold and silver, in particular the strength of consumer price expectations and what this may suggest for retail demand over the rest of 2016.
Bearish consolidation for Gold • Gold's bullish momentum keeps going despite yesterday's consolidation. Hourly resistance is given at 1279 (04/03/2015 high). Hourly supports lies at 1250 (04/03/2016 low). Expected to show continued strengthening. • In the long-term, the technical structure suggests that there is a growing upside momentum. A break of 1392 (17/03/2014) is necessary ton confirm it, A major support can be found at 1045 (05/02/2010 low).
Swiss unemployment fell in February to 3.7% from 3.8% in January. Although there is a seasonal factor to take into consideration, hiring generally only really starts to pick up in the month of March. CPI figures in February also bettered expectations with prices rising 0.2% compared to a drop of -0.4% in January and -0.1% expected. These, are first signs of improvements after a very difficult year in 2015. It will be interesting to see whether the Swiss economy can keep up the momentum over the coming months.
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