Euro Holds Steady Ahead of ECB Meeting


The Euro traded in a tight range ahead of the release of the final reading of the fourth quarter GDP and the European Central Bank's monetary policy review. The bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged and downgrades the inflation and growth projections. Market participants will watch carefully Draghi's press conference to grasp hints over the future path of interest rates. Last year, the ECB signaled to raise interest rates through summer 2019. However, the latest drop in economic activity suggests that the bank could be forced to hold lower rates for a longer period of time. The EURUSD is trading slightly above the $1.13 level, and the EURGBP is hovering near 0.86.


The Canadian dollar tumbled against other major currencies after the Bank of Canada interest rates decision. The bank left interest rates unchanged at 1.75%, but the bank declared that the current outlook warrants a policy interest rate that is below its neutral range. In the previous meeting, the bank expected rates to rise to a neutral range. The USDCAD soared to 1.3457, the highest since early Jan, and the GBPCAD climbed to a nine-month high of 1.7723.


Metals prices were almost unchanged as the dollar stood firm while Treasury yields declined. The gold ounce settled at $1286, and the silver ounce closed at $15.07, the lowest close for this year. Meanwhile, palladium bounced-off the $1500 level to trade higher at $1550.


Oil prices continued to trade in a tight range despite the US inventory buildup. The US Energy Information Administration reported that the US weekly crude oil inventories rose by 7.069 million barrels last week. However, the expectations that OPEC+ could extend supply cuts till June supported prices. The West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled almost unchanged at $56.16, and Brent futures finished marginally higher at $65.88.

Major Economic Events

GMT Country Event Expectation Previous
10:00 EU GDP (YoY) (Q4) 1.2% 1.2%
10:00 EU GDP (QoQ) (Q4) 0.2% 0.2%
12:45 EU ECB Interest Rate Decision (Mar) 0.00% 0.00%
13:30 EU ECB Press Conference     
13:30 US Initial Jobless Claims 225 225


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