Key points for the day: ECB minutes and US economic data - Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank provided an insight for today's important events - ECB monetary policy meeting minutes and the US economic data.

Key Quotes:

"The ECB will publish the minutes of its last monetary policy meeting. These are not expected to reveal anything new of note. Policy was left unchanged at the January meeting, after which ECB President Draghi stated that it would be premature to consider a near term tapering of the ECB’s QE programme. Given stronger economic growth and higher inflation in the euro area it continues to be an area of debate for markets whether the ECB will call a near-term end to its asset purchase programme. However, we expect that the ECB will continue with its current schedule of purchases until year end and it is unlikely that the minutes will suggest otherwise. ECB policymakers Nowotny and Coeure are scheduled to speak but they will probably concentrate on medium-term issues rather than the immediate monetary policy outlook."

"In the US, housing starts are expected to have slowed in January, after December’s outsize rise, mainly due to the volatile multi-unit sector. Nevertheless, the underlying trend of recent months seems to be an acceleration of housing activity. The weekly initial jobless claims numbers are expected to show that the labour market remains buoyant. The Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey can be very volatile making it hard to gauge underlying trends. It is forecast, however, that the February data will confirm the message of other recent surveys of a strengthening manufacturing sector."