Euro and British Pound Sharply Higher as ECB’s Draghi Steers Clear from Controversy, Says Brexit no Major Threat to Euro

Euro and British Pound Sharply Higher as ECB’s Draghi Steers Clear from Controversy, Says Brexit no Major Threat to Euro

21 April 2016, 20:24
Vasilii Apostolidi
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The euro and British pound were both winners of the ECB’s press conference held following the announcement of a decision to leave interest rates and policy unchanged.

There were no major hints about future action that will have scared markets into action either.

In short, this was a day of no-change and this has allowed markets to push the euro higher. Essentially, the currency has moved to where it would have been were the ECB event not lying in the way.

Markets are naturally cautious on the euro ahead of such events, hence we have seen traders step off the accelerator over recent days.

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Now that the event has passed without incident euro buying has been stepped up.

This risk-on environment is actually as pro-GBP as it is pro-EUR - the pound to euro exchange rate is caught in deadlock.

However, sterling is up sharply against the dollar and a host of commodity currencies.

Explaining sterling’s strong performance is actually quite a difficult for us as the GBP has rallied without European stock markets.

We have noted that through April the pound has tracked the German DAX higher, but with the DAX lower in the wake of the ECB conference, and the pound notably higher, we are seeing a disconnect.

Regarding the potential of a British exit from the EU, Draghi notes, "is it enough to endanger the Eurozone area? The assessment of our staff is that this is limited."

He does note though that Britain and Europe remain in a mutually beneficial relationship.

He also suggests sterling could remain under pressure into, and even after, the referendum.

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