• ECB President Mario Draghi referred to the recent moderation in growth but expressed confidence that the recovery remains solid.
  • The EUR/USD is bouncing after touching the lowest levels since January 12th.
  • The ECB left all its policy measures unchanged and did not touch the statement as expected. 

ECB President Mario Draghi did not drag the Euro lower. At the opening remarks of his press conference, Draghi referred to the most talked about topic in the euro-zone: the signs of a slowdown. He said it is partly a result of the high growth seen in Q4 2017 and also mentioned temporary factors. Weather, strikes, the timing of Easter and more factors are behind this moderation.

And then, Draghi expressed confidence that the underlying growth factors are resilient. In response to a question, Draghi said that the decline has stabilized and the levels are still above historical highs

This confident message sent the EUR/USD to the highs of the day below $1.2200, but markets remain cautious. Draghi did mention risks from protectionism. This was a complete turnaround from the dip to $1.2146, the lowest since January 12th. 

Later in the press conference, Draghi said they have an unchanged confidence about reaching the 2% inflation target. When Draghi said that the exchange rate was not discussed, the EUR/USD extended its gains.

Earlier, the European Central Bank left the primary lending rate at 0%, the deposit rate at -0.40% and the QE program running at a pace of 30€ billion per month through September unchanged. This was fully expected. The statement was also left untouched, contrary to the minor hawkish tweak the central bank introduced in March. Back then, they removed the option to increase the size of the bond buys while leaving the option to extend the duration.

The lines to watch on the EUR/USD from top to bottom are $1.2325 (the 50-day SMA), $1.2240 (late March low), $1.2210 (early April trough), $1.2155 (March 1st low), $1.2090 (2017 peak) and the round number of $1.2000. 

 

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