Euro declines after dovish Draghi, CNB scraps Koruna cap

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7 April 2017


The Euro slumped to its lowest level in three weeks on Thursday after President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi dampened expectations that the ECB could be ready to tighten its monetary policy at its upcoming meetings.

raghi appears in no rush to begin altering the bank’s existing policy, claiming that the current policy “is still appropriate”, with a reassessment “not warranted at this stage”. The single currency immediately fell by almost half a percent off the back of his dovish comments, although recovered over the course of trading.

Investors will now turn their attention to this afternoon’s nonfarm payrolls report out of the US, widely regarded as the most significant single data release on the economic calendar. The headline number is expected to come in around the 180,00 mark, which would be more than enough to convince us that another interest rate hike is warranted in the US at the June FOMC meeting. Unemployment is expected to remain unchanged, although we will pay more attention to average earnings to see if the low jobless rate is beginning to pass its way through to higher wages.

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney will be speaking at an event in Canary Wharf in London this morning on the topic of financial globalisation.

In the emerging market universe, the Czech National Bank surprised the market on Thursday by announcing a sooner-than-expected abandonment of the Czech Koruna (CZK) currency ceiling against the Euro. The central bank will now run the currency under a managed float system, allowing CZK to trade stronger than 27 to the Euro for the first time since the ceiling was introduced at the end of 2013. The Koruna spiked by around 1.5% in the hours after the announcement, a fairly subdued reaction by all accounts, largely due to investors already holding long-Koruna positions in order to profit from the currency’s appreciation.

Major currencies in detail


Activity in the UK was fairly subdued yesterday, with most attention elsewhere. The Pound remained fairly range bound throughout trading, having reversed much of its recent losses on Wednesday following a bumper services PMI.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May met with European Council President Donald Tusk on Thursday. Talks lasted around two hours and were supposedly positive. An official claimed “they agreed to stay in regular contact throughout the Brexit process to keep a constructive approach”. It is clearly early days on negotiations, and concrete news on trade will not be known for some time.


The minutes of the ECB’s March meeting were mostly in line with Draghi’s comments earlier in the day. Policymakers last month were in agreement to keep “very substantial degree of monetary accommodation”. The view on the inflation front was fairly mixed, showing a slight divergence within the Governing Council regarding the inflationary outlook. However, with core inflation still well below levels that would justify a tightening in monetary policy, we see it as very likely that they will refrain from announcing any sort of tapering in the QE programme any time soon.

A string of mostly second tier economic data will be released in the Eurozone this morning. German industrial production and French trade balance data could prove market movers.


Jobless claims data out of the US yesterday added to the recent stream of economic news that suggested we could be in for a robust nonfarm payrolls report this afternoon. Claims for last week fell to a better-than-expected 234,000, its largest weekly drop in almost two years.

Federal Reserve member John Williams also spoke yesterday, appearing comfortable with the idea of three or possibly four interest rate hikes in the US this year. A combination of a dovish Draghi and hawkish Fed were enough to lift the Dollar to just shy of its strongest position since mid-March.

All attention in the US will be on this afternoon’s nonfarm payrolls report.