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Euro Slides Ahead Of ECB Rate Decision

CANBERA (dpa-AFX) – The euro weakened against the other major currencies in the late Asian session on Thursday, as traders waited for European Central Bank monetary policy announcement for details about the quantitative-easing program measure announced in January.

At a European Central Bank meeting due later in the day, president Mario Draghi will unveil the details of its 1.1 trillion euro ($ 1.23 trillion) bond-buying quantitative easing program, as part of a drive to get inflation back toward its target of just below 2 percent. The ECB will also release new economic forecasts, with many expecting that the growth forecasts would likely be revised upwards after factoring in a cheaper euro and falling energy prices.

Traders also look forward to Friday’s U.S. jobs data for further confirmation that the world’s largest economy is recovering enough to justify a rate hike. In prepared remarks to the Senate Banking Committee last week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that it was “unlikely” that economic conditions would warrant an interest rate increase for “at least the next couple of meetings”.

Meanwhile, most of the Asian stocks traded lower as China, the world’s second-largest economy, lowered its economic growth forecast for 2015 to about 7 percent. Investors were also trading cautious ahead of ECB meeting due later.

In the late Asian trading today, the euro fell to 1.1025 against the U.S. dollar for the first time September 2003. At yesterday’s close, the euro was trading at 1.1075 against the greenback. The euro may test support near the 1.09 region.

Against the Canadian dollar, the euro slipped to 1.3717 for the first time since September 2013. The pair was trading at 1.3763 at yesterday’s close. On the downside, 1.32 is seen as the next support level for the euro.

Against the Australian dollar and the yen, the euro fell to more than a 5-week low of 1.4112 and nearly a 5-week low of 132.14 from yesterday’s closing quotes of 1.4168 and 132.52, respectively. The euro is likely to find support around 1.39 against the aussie and 130.09 against the yen.

The euro edged down to 0.7239 against the pound and 1.0651 against the Swiss franc, from yesterday’s closing quotes of 0.7256 and 1.0667, respectively. If the euro extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 0.69 against the pound and 0.96 against the Swiss franc.

Looking ahead, Markit’s Germany construction PMI and Eurozone retail PMI – both for February are set to be published in the European session.

The Bank of England will announce its interest rate decision at 7:00 am ET. Economists expect the bank to retain interest rates unchanged at 0.50 percent and asset purchase target at GBP 375 billion.

The European Central Bank will announce its interest rate decision at 7:45 am ET. Economists expect the bank to retain interest rates unchanged at 0.05 percent.

Following the announcement, central bank President Mario Draghi will hold the customary post-meeting press conference in Cyprus at 8:30 am ET.

In the New York session, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended February 28, factory orders for January and Canada Ivey’s PMI for February are slated for release.

At 10:00 am ET, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams will deliver a speech about the economic outlook at the Chartered Financial Analysts Society Hawaii 10th Annual Economic Forecast Dinner, in Honolulu.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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