Tags: euro | currency | foreign exchange | bonds

Euro Drops to Weakest Since 2003 as ECB to Start Bond Purchases

Thursday, 05 March 2015 12:15 PM EST

The euro fell to the lowest level in more than 11 years as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi unveiled details of sovereign-debt purchases designed to increase inflation and restore economic growth.

The shared currency dropped for a sixth day, the longest slide in more than a year, as Draghi said the ECB will start buying bonds next week and include debt with negative yields. The dollar rallied versus most major peers as investors awaited a jobs report Friday that may bolster the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006.

“We expect the euro to stay under pressure here at least in the short term,” Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management in St. Louis, said by phone.

The euro sank as much as 0.6 percent to $1.1007, the lowest since September 2003, before trading at $1.028 at 11:17 a.m. New York time, down 0.5 percent. The 19-nation currency was little changed at 132.57 yen after weakening 0.9 percent on Wednesday.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback against 10 major counterparts, gained 0.5 percent to 1,184.65, on pace for its highest close in more than a decade.

The ECB’s bond buying will begin on March 9, Draghi told reporters in Nicosia, Cyprus, after a policy meeting, confirming that purchases will amount to 60 billion euros ($66 billion) each month and run through September 2016.

Negative Yields

Policy makers kept the main refinancing rate at a record- low 0.05 percent and the deposit rate at minus 0.20 percent.

“How negative do we go? Until the deposit rate,” Draghi said of the bonds the bank will buy.

That may encourage the ECB to concentrate purchases at the longer end of the yield curve and drive further flows out of the euro, according to an e-mailed note from Nomura Holdings Inc.

The euro jumped briefly as the ECB president unveiled forecasts showing higher euro-area growth with an inflation outlook that would put the ECB on track to reach its goal of just below 2 percent.

“It seems that euro rallies are becoming increasingly short-lived,” said Peter Kinsella, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at Commerzbank AG in London. “Markets use any opportunity they can to implement fresh shorts.” A short position is a bet a currency will decline.

The euro has slumped 5.9 percent this year, the worst performer of 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The dollar gained 4.3 percent, and the yen advanced 3.9 percent.

The Bloomberg dollar index gained before a government report Friday that will show U.S. employers added more than 200,000 jobs in February for the 12th consecutive month, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The Fed, which meets March 17-18, is considering when to raise interest rates after keeping them at virtually zero since 2008. Chair Janet Yellen told Congress last week policy makers will focus on data in making their decision on the timing of any increase.

© Copyright 2024 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


Markets
The euro fell to the lowest level in more than 11 years as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi unveiled details of sovereign-debt purchases designed to increase inflation and restore economic growth.
euro, currency, foreign exchange, bonds
494
2015-15-05
Thursday, 05 March 2015 12:15 PM
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