Markets unfazed as ECB kicks the can on phasing out stimulus
The most important market moves came before the ECB announcement
The Euro was little changed after the European Central Bank announced that its quantitative easing program would continue on the present track. The only change in the ECB’s statement was the omission of previous language about the possibility of a further rate cut.
That didn’t faze the market, which had no expectation of a rate cut. The issue, rather, is if and when the ultra-loose monetary policy promoted by ECB President Mario Draghi might be phased out. The ECB’s answer this morning was: “Not yet.”
That left European markets mildly up, German bond yields marginally higher, and the Euro unchanged immediately after the European announcement. By far the most important market moves occurred prior to the ECB announcement: Italian bank stocks jumped about 3% and Italy’s bond yield dropped about 8 basis points. The much-vaunted spike in risk in today’s market hasn’t happened.