Euro Down After ECB Announces Expansion of QE

The euro dipped today after the European Central Bank announced an expansion of its asset purchase program. The size of the expansion was a bit bigger than market participants have anticipated.

As was expected, the ECB left interest rates unchanged at today’s policy meeting. Regarding quantitative easing, ECB President Mario Draghi announced the following decision of the Governing Council:

It decided to launch an expanded asset purchase programme, encompassing the existing purchase programmes for asset-backed securities and covered bonds. Under this expanded programme, the combined monthly purchases of public and private sector securities will amount to â‚¬60 billion. They are intended to be carried out until end-September 2016 and will in any case be conducted until we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation which is consistent with our aim of achieving inflation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term.

The rate of QE increase was somewhat bigger than that was discussed previously (€50 billion). As a result, the euro dropped. Losses were substantial but not dramatic as the announcement did not shock the market (unlike announcement of some other central banks).

EUR/USD declined from 1.1609 to 1.1490 (1 percent) as of 14:11 GMT today. EUR/JPY went down from 136.95 to 135.29 (1.2 percent), and EUR/GBP dipped from 0.7667 to 0.7578 (1.1 percent), reaching the lowest level since February 2008.

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