The ECB remains cautious in its assessment of the economic situation characterised by risks still tilted to the downside, although less than before thanks to the US-China trade deal. The message is slightly better on underlying inflation where some signs of a moderate increase are noted. Between now and year-end, the strategy review, which has now been launched, will grab a lot of attention, with markets wondering how it could influence monetary policy. The review is also important from the perspective of climate change: will monetary policy operations take it on board as a risk factor or will ambition even be higher?

Judging by the market reaction, the ECB President's press conference this week was rather uneventful. The Euro Stoxx 50 equity index fluctuated in a narrow range of approximately 0.15% and 10 year Bund yields eased about 1 basis point. The absence of volatility is unsurprising. Firstly, monetary policy is set to remain unchanged for a long time and, secondly, the message about the economy remains cautious. At the December meeting, the assessment was that "incoming economic data and survey information, while remaining weak overall, point to some stabilisation in the slowdown of economic growth in the euro area". Now "[i]ncoming economic data and survey information point to some stabilisation in euro area growth dynamics, with near-term growth expected to be similar to rates observed in previous quarters." The change in the assessment is tiny – "while remaining weak overall" has been dropped – but, importantly, no pick-up in growth is expected in the near term. Moreover, risks remain tilted to the downside although they have become less pronounced as trade-related uncertainty is receding. The Governing Council of course welcomes that "there are some signs of a moderate increase in underlying inflation in line with expectations", although the inflation outlook remains subdued.

With monetary policy locked in a state-dependent forward guidance mode and data moving at a glacial pace, attention is shifting to the strategy review, which has now been formally launched. The scope is huge but in line with its importance. A key question is whether the mandate, whilst remaining narrow – i.e. achieving price stability – will be reformulated. One possibility would be to make it explicitly symmetric. This would require dropping the word "below" in the now wellknown sentence "We expect them to remain at their present or lower levels until we have seen the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to, but below, 2%". Another possibility would be to set a range within which inflation would be considered in line with the objective. Clearly, such a move would have a significant impact on policy rate expectations and bring the expected first hike forward. 

 

Download The Full Ecoflash

BNP Paribas is regulated by the FSA for the conduct of its designated investment business in the UK and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. The information and opinions contained in this report have been obtained from public sources believed to be reliable, but no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made that such information is accurate or complete and it should not be relied upon as such. This report does not constitute a prospectus or other offering document or an offer or solicitation to buy any securities or other investment. Information and opinions contained in the report are published for the assistance of recipients, but are not to be relied upon as authoritative or taken in substitution for the exercise of judgement by any recipient, they are subject to change without notice and not intended to provide the sole basis of any evaluation of the instruments discussed herein. Any reference to past performance should not be taken as an indication of future performance. No BNP Paribas Group Company accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material contained in this report. All estimates and opinions included in this report constitute our judgements as of the date of this report. BNP Paribas and their affiliates ("collectively "BNP Paribas") may make a market in, or may, as principal or agent, buy or sell securities of the issuers mentioned in this report or derivatives thereon. BNP Paribas may have a financial interest in the issuers mentioned in this report, including a long or short position in their securities, and or options, futures or other derivative instruments based thereon. BNP Paribas, including its officers and employees may serve or have served as an officer, director or in an advisory capacity for any issuer mentioned in this report. BNP Paribas may, from time to time, solicit, perform or have performed investment banking, underwriting or other services (including acting as adviser, manager, underwriter or lender) within the last 12 months for any issuer referred to in this report. BNP Paribas, may to the extent permitted by law, have acted upon or used the information contained herein, or the research or analysis on which it was based, before its publication. BNP Paribas may receive or intend to seek compensation for investment banking services in the next three months from an issuer mentioned in this report. Any issuer mentioned in this report may have been provided with sections of this report prior to its publication in order to verify its factual accuracy. This report was produced by a BNP Paribas Group Company. This report is for the use of intended recipients and may not be reproduced (in whole or in part) or delivered or transmitted to any other person without the prior written consent of BNP Paribas. By accepting this document you agree to be bound by the foregoing limitations. Analyst Certification Each analyst responsible for the preparation of this report certifies that (i) all views expressed in this report accurately reflect the analyst's personal views about any and all of the issuers and securities named in this report, and (ii) no part of the analyst's compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed herein. United States: This report is being distributed to US persons by BNP Paribas Securities Corp., or by a subsidiary or affiliate of BNP Paribas that is not registered as a US broker-dealer, to US major institutional investors only. BNP Paribas Securities Corp., a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. BNP Paribas Securities Corp. accepts responsibility for the content of a report prepared by another non-US affiliate only when distributed to US persons by BNP Paribas Securities Corp. United Kingdom: This report has been approved for publication in the United Kingdom by BNP Paribas London Branch, a branch of BNP Paribas whose head office is in Paris, France. BNP Paribas London Branch is regulated by the Financial Services Authority ("FSA") for the conduct of its designated investment business in the United Kingdom and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. This report is prepared for professional investors and is not intended for Private Customers in the United Kingdom as defined in FSA rules and should not be passed on to any such persons. Japan: This report is being distributed to Japanese based firms by BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch, or by a subsidiary or affiliate of BNP Paribas not registered as a financial instruments firm in Japan, to certain financial institutions permitted by regulation. BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is a financial instruments firm registered according to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law of Japan and a member of the Japan Securities Dealers Association. BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch accepts responsibility for the content of a report prepared by another non-Japan affiliate only when distributed to Japanese based firms by BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch. Hong Kong: This report is being distributed in Hong Kong by BNP Paribas Hong Kong Branch, a branch of BNP Paribas whose head office is in Paris, France. BNP Paribas Hong Kong Branch is regulated as a Licensed Bank by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and is deemed as a Registered Institution by the Securities and Futures Commission for the conduct of Advising on Securities [Regulated Activity Type 4] under the Securities and Futures Ordinance Transitional Arrangements. Singapore: This report is being distributed in Singapore by BNP Paribas Singapore Branch, a branch of BNP Paribas whose head office is in Paris, France. BNP Paribas Singapore is a licensed bank regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore is exempted from holding the required licenses to conduct regulated activities and provide financial advisory services under the Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisors Act. © BNP Paribas (2011). All rights reserved.

Analysis feed

FXStreet Trading Signals now available!

Access to real-time signals, community and guidance now!


Latest Forex Analysis

Editors’ Picks

AUD/USD: Above 0.6300 on Good Friday holiday with eyes on China CPI

AUD/USD remains above 0.6300, despite stepping back from the monthly high of 0.6363 to currently around 0.6330, at the start of Friday’s Asian session. Markets in Australia/US are closed for Good Friday, Chinese markets are up with March month inflation data on the cards.

AUD/USD News

USD/JPY: The greenback ticks down, trades above 108.00 figure

USD/JPY consolidates gains above the 108.00 figure. The level to beat for buyers is the 109.50 resistance. USD/JPY bull trend stays intact as the spot trades above the 108.00 handle and the 50/200 SMAs on the four chart.

USD/JPY News

Why stocks are recovering and where next

The S&P 500 index has recovered around half the losses it suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Is bad news priced in? How much credit does the Federal Reserve deserve? Where next for equities?

Read more

Gold: Multiple upside barriers before crossing $1,700

Despite probing the multi-year high, marked on Thursday, Gold prices near the key resistances while taking rounds to $1,685 at the start of Friday’s Asian session. The Good Friday holidays in major markets are expected to limit the yellow metal’s moves.

Gold News

Gold: Multiple upside barriers before crossing $1,700

Despite probing the multi-year high, marked on Thursday, Gold prices near the key resistances while taking rounds to $1,685 at the start of Friday’s Asian session. The Good Friday holidays in major markets are expected to limit the yellow metal’s moves.

Gold News

Forex Majors

Cryptocurrencies

Signatures