Draghi Debrief: Confidence On Growth Sends The EUR/USD Higher

European Central Bank leaves interest rate unchanged, despite slowing of EU economic growth

The Latest: ECB keeps rates on hold amid mixed economic data

On top of leaving the short-term interest rate at zero on Thursday, the ECB council did not touch the deposit rate at which the ECB takes deposits from commercial banks.

Draghi is due to speak at a press conference at 1:30 p.m. London time (8:30 a.m. ET).

Their 2018 growth forecasts were unchanged at 2.3 percent, but most economists polled said the trade dispute between the United States and China would also damage the euro zone economy.

Draghi stressed that overall growth is expected to remain solid and broad based, and ample liquidity is necessary to bring the inflation back to 2 percent target.

He said non-performing loans (NPLs), now 4.8 percent of all bank credit, no longer represented an immediate threat as lenders now have more capital to absorb possible losses. The currency is up 1.5% against the dollar this year and just 0.3 percent higher on a trade-weighted basis.

Indeed it may be traders were reacting to the insight that the only "certainty" was that nothing is certain in relation to ending the ECB's stimulus programme (QE).

The admission prompted a German journalist in the audience to question the president on "why monetary policy had not been discussed.in a monetary policy meeting", to which Draghi said that the European Central Bank first required a better understanding of the underlying trends since the start of the new year before formulating future policy.

More news: Dow Jones falls over 420 points

But with the risk of a global trade war still looming, it may not decide until absolutely necessary, so retaining the flexibility to adjust policy.

The index has joined other indicators in losing some of the exuberance seen around the turn of the year, although the reading was above the 50-point mark that suggests economic expansion.

Nonetheless, the euro's recent strength has had a relatively limited impact in recent weeks. The main refinancing rate will stay at 0.00 percent.

Even if the single currency's rise has petered out for now, exporters like Continental and Volkswagen flagged the exchange rate as a risk. It is up around 1.5 percent against the USA dollar so far this year and was trading at $1.2155 shortly after 1 p.m. London time.

A stronger euro would cap inflation, a headache for the ECB as price growth is already set to miss its near 2%target, the central bank's sole policy objective, for years more to come.

A stronger single currency would also most likely cap already weak inflation in the euro zone - a persistent headache for the European Central Bank.

This confident message sent the EUR/USD to the highs of the day below $1.2200, but markets remain cautious.

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