Forex - Euro Broadly Lower in Cautious Trade

14/03/2018 10:34:19 Forex

The euro was broadly lower on Wednesday as comments by senior European Central Bank officials tempered expectations for a speedy exit from its €2.55 trillion bond purchasing stimulus program.

EUR/USD was down 0.21% at 1.2364 by 06:26 AM ET (10:26 AM GMT).

ECB President Mario Draghi said that officials still need to see more evidence that inflation is moving closer to its target of just below 2% before it would consider the removal of monetary stimulus.

“We currently see inflation converging toward our aim over the medium term, and we are more confident than in the past this convergence will come to pass,” Draghi told a conference.

“But we still need to see further evidence that inflation dynamics are moving in the right direction,” he added.

"When progress toward a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation is judged to be sufficient, net purchases will come to an end."

Investors are on the lookout from clues to the ECB’s next policy move after the bank dropped a long standing pledge to increase asset purchases if needed from its rate statement last week.

Flagging a possible adjustment to forward guidance in the coming months, ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet said the bank will need to make its guidance more specific, as the current language will lose its effectiveness over time.

"With the passage of time, the indication that policy rates will remain at their present levels well past the end of net asset purchases will gradually cease to provide sufficient guidance about the likely evolution of the monetary policy stance," Praet said.

"So, our forward guidance on the path of our policy rates will have to be further specified and calibrated as appropriate for inflation to remain on the sustained adjustment path toward levels below, but close to, 2% over the medium term."

The euro was also weaker against the pound and the yen, with EUR/GBP slipping 0.12% to 0.8861 and EUR/JPY down 0.24% to 131.72.

The dollar remained supported, but struggled to make headway in the wake of Tuesday’s tepid U.S. inflation data and concerns over political instability in the wake of the sudden firing of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.11% to 89.80.

Concerns over the Trump administrations protectionist stance also weighed, following reports that the president is seeking to impose tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese imports, targeting the technology and telecommunications sectors.