Euro craters, dollar soars, as European Central Bank holds off on rate hikes

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Euro craters, dollar soars, as European Central Bank holds off on rate hikes

More importantly the core numbers are expected to come in at 1.1%, still well below what is comfortable for the European Central Bank, though a lower euro could go some way to pushing that number higher in the coming months, with a rising oil price still yet to really filter its way fully into the headline numbers.

The European Central Bank on Thursday announced plans to end the €2.5 trillion ($US3 trillion) bond-buying program known as quantitative easing that it has undertaken since the eurozone debt crisis.

The euro briefly spiked to a one-month high of $1.1853 following the announcement.

But in a balanced announcement reflecting the uncertainties hanging over the region's economy, it also signalled the move would not mean a rapid policy tightening by adding that interest rates would stay at record lows at least until summer next year.

While rate moves will not be on the ECB's agenda for months, policymakers in public and private have said that market pricings for such a move are realistic.

While the U.S. Federal Reserve pursuits hawkish shift, the generally dovish stance of the European Central Bank weighs markedly on the euro, which plunged by around 1.8 percent against the U.S. dollar since noon of Thursday.

The pan-European STOXX 600 and the euro zone STOXX jumped 1.4 and 1.3 per cent, while the exporter-heavy German DAX index gained 1.7 per cent to 13,107.10, as the euro fell to a session low. Sales jumped by, a much stronger than anticipated, 0.8% last month, reinforcing the hawkish comments made from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday evening stating that the U.S. economy was approaching "normal levels".

"Fed Chair Jerome Powell underscored his own satisfaction with the recovery in his remarks on Wednesday, saying the economy was in "great shape" and even going so far as to hint that he no longer feels constrained by the Janet Yellen-era fear of slipping back to zero interest rates".

Futures pointed to a small opening decline for the S&P 500 while stocks were mixed in Asia-Pacific trading.

"Everyone is talking about raising production - the only question is by how much", said Bob Yawger, director, energy at Mizuho in NY.

The euro was a shade higher at 128.035 yen after dropping 1.7 percent overnight. Data for April was revised up to show sales rising 0.4 percent instead of the previously reported 0.2 percent gain.

"The market was caught wrong-footed as the rates would be on hold into mid-2019", said Peter Ng, senior currency trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California.

Consumer goods stocks including Unilever and British American Tobacco led losses as investors reacted to signs of higher interest rates by shedding the high-dividend yielding "bond proxies".

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S. June 13, 2018.

Nissan Motor Co fell 1.3 pe cent, Hitachi shed 2.05 per cent and Panasonic Corp dropped 1.89 per cent. Investors were looking for an increase of 0.4 percent in May.

With Thursday's decision, the ECB's rate on bank overnight deposits, which is now its primary interest rate tool, remains at -0.40 percent.

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