As mentioned in the GBP market report, sterling has risen in value versus the euro so far this week. In part, this is because the financial markets feel more confident that there won’t be a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, and because of the UK’s upbeat economic performance.

In addition, it may be because the European Central Bank (ECB) has cut interest rates, and extended its extraordinary monetary stimulus, called Quantitative Easing (QE), to prop up the ailing Eurozone economy.

ECB reduces deposit rate to -0.5%, new all-time low 

This Thursday 12th, the Eurozone’s central bank revealed that it was cutting its deposit rate, which it charges commercial banks to park money at the ECB overnight, by -0.1% to a new all-time low of -0.5%. This encourages the commercial banks to lend this money to households and businesses, to earn profits, instead of parking the funds at the ECB, where it’s making a loss.

However, because this measure makes buying EUR-denominated assets less profitable, it simultaneously devalues the euro.

European Central Bank Update Today

ECB restarts QE, its unconventional easing scheme

Yesterday, the ECB announced that it was restarting QE, the unconventional monetary easing scheme in which the central bank electronically prints vast sums of euros. The ECB revealed that it would begin injecting €20 billion a month into the Eurozone’s financial system, having previously ended this scheme in December 2018, after injecting trillions over the last few years.

The objective of QE is to lower Eurozone businesses’ and governments’ borrowing costs, to encourage them to take out loans and invest, yet QE historically tends to weaken the euro too.

German, Eurozone economies remain weak 

The ECB has cut interest rates and extended QE this week, because the Eurozone’s economy is showing increasing signs of weakness. For instance, in recent weeks we’ve learnt that Germany’s GDP shrank by -0.1% in Q2, between April and June, in part because of the USA’s and China’s trade war. Since then, Germany’s manufacturing performance has continued to disappoint. This week it was revealed that the Eurozone’s industrial production fell by -2.0% in July year-on-year, well below economists’ forecasts for -1.3%. We’ll see if the ECB’s measures can succeed in shoring up the Eurozone’s GDP growth, and their effect on the euro, in the coming weeks and months.

Read our monthly currency forecast

Download here


Read more articles


Exchange rates on this page are interbank rates and indicate where the market is trading to show the performance of a currency pair. They are not indicative of the rates which we offer. The information on this web site is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute advice to any person on any matter. Foreign Currency Direct plc. ("FCD") makes every reasonable effort to ensure that this information is accurate and complete but assumes no responsibility for and gives no warranty with regard to the same.