Euro holds gains at one-month high after ECB

The global equities sell-off continued across Asia Pacific on Friday, and the cautious mood looks set to weigh on European bourses when markets open.

The euro surged to a one-month high, Eurozone equity and government bond prices sank and stocks across Europe and the US came under pressure after the European Central Bank announcement of its monetarily policy on Thursday underwhelmed and fell short of market expectations.

The ECB pledged to continue its €60bn-a-month bond buying programme for another six months until March 2017 “or beyond”. Policymakers also cut a key interest rate to a historic low of minus 0.3 per cent and pledged to buy more assets with the proceeds of its existing bond purchases.

However, many investors had been hoping for a deeper cut as well as a raised level, not just extension, of its quantitative easing purchases.

The euro surged against the dollar to a high of 1.0980 by late US session trading on Thursday and held onto gains early on Friday in Asia.

Asian markets were down due to the cautious mood. At lunchtime Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.1 per cent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.7 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 2.3 per cent. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite was down 1.2 per cent and the Shenzhen Composite was flat.

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Source:: Euro holds gains at one-month high after ECB

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