ECB Leaves Main Rates Unchanged in First 2018 Decision

European Government Bonds: Too Early For The ECB To Announce A Change In Guidance

Reports coming on Tuesday are expected to show 2017 was the bloc's best year for growth in over a decade, capped off by a strong fourth quarter.

Speaking in Davos, where he is attending the World Economic Forum, Mr Trump said "frankly nobody should be talking about the dollar's value" before adding he supported a strong U.S. currency.

"The concern was broader than simply the exchange rate, it was about the overall status of worldwide relations right now".

Draghi said Thursday that recently volatility in the euro's exchange rate was "a source of uncertainty" that merited "monitoring". The IMF this week predicted a 2.2-percent growth in 2018, up from a previous estimate of 1.9 percent.

As widely expected, the ECB kept interest rates and guidance unchanged at its policy meeting, with investors focusing on comments from ECB President Mario Draghi in a subsequent press conference. Purchasing managers' indexes released for January already suggest that momentum accelerated into this year.

The US dollar has fallen 14.6 percent against the euro since Mr Trump took office a year ago, including a 1.8 percent drop in the two days since Mr Mnuchin's remarks.

COMMODITIES: Oil prices shot through the roof yesterday, and moved even higher today, with WTI and Brent crude trading 0.8% and 0.5% higher respectively during the Asian trading session Thursday, reaching fresh multi-year highs.

The bank says it'll keep buying 30 billion euros ($36 billion) per month in bonds at least through September.

"Monetary policy will remain accommodative. interest rates will remain low well beyond the end of (QE)".

Fears remain that the strong euro could dampen inflation and endanger the work done by years of unprecedented stimulus.

"The broader dollar decline story remains in place and, unless we see a substantial shift in expectations on future policy tightening in the U.S, the dollar will likely remain on the back foot", said Richard Falkenhall, a senior currency strategist at SEB in Stockholm.

The dollar hit a three-year low against the euro on Thursday morning, before Draghi's press conference, to $1.24 for €1. "We were looking for it but we didn't get it".

After the close of trading on Thursday, results are expected from Intel Corp and Starbucks Corp. At today's meeting, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility should remain unchanged - 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively. Capital has fled the greenback onbets that rosy global growth willsee more central banks follow the Fed's hawkish lead, making alternatives seem relatively cheap (and thereby attractive).

The ECB has bought nearly 2.3-trillion euros (R34-trillion) of government and corporate bonds, offered cheap loans to banks and set interest rates at historic lows, aiming to stoke eurozone growth and boost inflation towards its target of just below 2 percent.

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