The European Central Bank’s policy meeting barely caused a ripple in financial markets Thursday after the bank left interest rates unchanged.President Draghi is leaving the door open for more easing if necessary. He, however, did urge everyone to have a bit more patience and give the current measures time to work. He also added that criticism at the ultra-loose policies of the ECB is not helpful and may delay the transmission of the measures to set objectives.
Focus this morning will be on the flash manufacturing and services PMI data from the eurozone, Germany and France, which will be followed this afternoon by the manufacturing reading from the US. The eurogroup is also meeting today.
Oil and GOLD: Oil markets are trading higher again on Friday, up more than 1% after seeing some profit taking on Thursday. Brent and WTI are both trading at important technical resistance levels, around $47-47.50 and $44.50-45, respectively. Gold rose slightly in Asia on Friday with trade thin ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve review of interest rates.
Stocks: Asian markets open the day lower as weighed down by disappointing earnings result in US. Those companies that released disappointing quarterly reports including Alphabet, Microsoft, Visa and Starbucks. Nonetheless, weakness in Asian is relatively limited as Nikkei quickly pared loss and is trading down just -0.2% . The S&P 500 is close to its all-time highs at 2134.72.European stock markets are expected to open lower on Friday but remain on course to end the week higher, with the CAC and DAX now very close to moving into positive territory for the year for the first time.
Currencies:In the currency markets, Sterling gained much ground towards the end of the week and overpowered commodity currencies. Yen remains the weakest one on risk appetite.
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