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After the European Central Bank's board meeting in Riga on Thursday, Draghi made clear than nothing will change this summer and the bond-buying programme will continue until December.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.68 Japanese yen from 110.65 yen while the euro was flat at $1.1568. The currency had shed 1.9 percent to the dollar, its biggest daily decline since Britain voted to quit the European Union in 2016.

Elsewhere, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) left borrowing costs for interbank loans unchanged on Thursday, a surprising decision that shrugged off the Fed's rate increase.

Another event markets were gearing up for: the start of soccer's World Cup in Russian Federation, where time zone differences mean there will be more matches during European or USA and Latin American trading hours than any previous tournament.

The euro recovered some ground against the dollar, a day after the European Central Bank signaled it would keep interest rates at record lows into the summer of 2019, prompting the common currency to fall almost 2 percent drop. The ECB continued to stress in recent meetings that any interest rate hikes, which remain the key to foreign exchange market movements, are a long way off.

The Trump administration is set to release its final list of Chinese products that will be subject to 25% tariffs by Friday, with the US President reasserting vows to pursue aggressive trade action in the coming weeks against China.

"It was mainly in German where sensitivity towards trade issues is stronger than elsewhere", she said. Inflation is projected to hit 1.7 per cent this year, below the bank's target of just under 2 per cent. The S&P 500 index rose 6.86 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,782.49.


The Euro initially weakened after the central bank said it would extend the bond purchase program, but spiked lower shortly after the start of ECB President Mario Draghi's press conference.

Today, the European Central Bank meets in Latvia to review monetary policy settings for the Eurozone.

Mindful of the Bank's two disastrous hikes in 2011 that exasperated the Eurozone's debt crisis, the Bank will seek to balance raising rates with aggravating the debt.

"I think the biggest concern at the moment, more than talk about trade, is the tightening of monetary conditions in emerging markets caused by a stronger dollar", said Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets in London, noting the Federal Reserve's forecast for a total of four interest rate rises in 2018.

Oil markets, pressured by the strengthening dollar and fears that OPEC countries could decide to increase output at a meeting next week, ended mixed.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were up 0.2 per cent at US$67.02 per barrel, while Brent was at US$76.02.


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