The U.S. economy gained traction in the midst of a post-crisis environment, leading the financial markets towards recovery, as better than expected economic indicators bloom markets with positive sentiment, and pushing global indices on to the green side, with the Dow Jones reaching record highs, said a local report on Sunday.
The economy in the U.S. is in a growing phase, in which it created great momentum towards recovery. Better economic figures raised the question whether the Federal Reserve will alter its accommodative policy of quantitative easing, added the global financial report by National Bank of Kuwait, NBK.
Moreover, sentiment on the Euro remained supported, after ECB President Draghi said monetary policy would remain firmly accommodative and added that confidence was returning to financial markets. In addition, the Bank of England have refrained from any further easing, while keeping the interest rate unchanged.
To no one's surprise, the European Central Bank have kept the key benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.75pct. The Euro regained ground across major currencies after the decision outcome of no immediate need for further easing. "We always think and study and reflect, but we are not committing to or planning anything special," said Mario Draghi. "Yes, we have discussed the possibility. We wouldn't pre-commit to anything as specific as a rate cut in the future", the ECB President said over the possibility of an interest rate cut.
Moreover, Draghi has stated that inflation has declined below 2pct in February as expected, and that inflationary pressures should remain contained over the coming months, while "the underlying pace of monetary expansion continues to be subdued", indicating that the ECB will continue with its accommodative monetary policy stance.
The ECB President reiterated that the "medium term risks for inflation remained balanced and that the positive impact from improving financial conditions on economic fundamentals may need time to materialize". After dismissing comments over the existence of a "currency war", Mr. Draghi said on the matter "that the exchange rate is not a policy target for the ECB. The nominal and real exchange rates are by, and large continue to be near their long term averages.
The exchange rate is very important for growth and price stability. The central bank will stick with the G20 consensus". The ECB President added that the central bank "will continue to look at the exchange rate as part of the overall assessment of the current situation". After some turbulence in the the markets following the Italian elections, Mr. Draghi stated that Italy "should continue on the structural reform path".
The Bank of England policymakers left the key benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5pct. The Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mervyn King, said the target for its bond purchases will remain at GBP 375 billion.
Several economists have stated that an increase in the policy program is possibly delayed rather than totally abandoned, and that an expansion is foreseen in the next two to three months. Policy makers outvoted Governor Mervyn King for a second time, after February's meeting where he suggested to increase the Asset Purchase Program by GBP 25 billion, to GBP 400 billion, as they are keen on monitoring the impact of their Funding for Lending Scheme, which started in August, before approving anymore stimulus.
On the price of gold, NBK said that it erased earlier losses after central banks in Europe and Asia left monetary policy unchanged, dimming some prospects for further stimulus measures. The precious metal traded between a low 1,567.48 and a high of 1,586.50 during the week. Gold ended the week at 1, 577.95.