European Central Bank (ECB)

Trump takes jab at Draghi

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US President Donald Trump took a jab at the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Twitter.

The euro fell on Tuesday after Mr Draghi said "additional stimulus will be required" if inflation does not pick up pace.

"Mario Draghi just announced more stimulus could come, which immediately dropped the Euro against the Dollar, making it unfairly easier for them to compete against the USA," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

"They have been getting away with this for years, along with China and others."

Mr Trump has repeatedly and openly put pressure on the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to help support the US economy.

Euro hit by Draghi comments

Euro/dollar graphic
BBC

The euro has dropped sharply against other currencies after the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, said the bank could introduce more stimulus measures.

Speaking in Portugal, Mr Draghi said that if eurozone inflation did not return to its target of close to, but below, 2%, the bank could review its options in the "coming weeks".

"In the absence of improvement, such that the sustained return of inflation to our aim is threatened, additional stimulus will be required," he said.

The stimulus measures could include more asset purchases by the bank or even a cut in interest rates.

"Will use all the flexibility within our mandate to fulfill our mandate – and we will do so again to answer any challenges to price stability in the future," Mr Draghi said.

Against the dollar, the euro reversed earlier gains to stand at $1.1192, down 0.2% for the day.

Markets pricing in a cut

Chief Economist at Investec, London

BreakingECB says rates to remain low into 2020

Mario Draghi, European Central Bank President
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The European Central Bank has left its main interest rate unchanged at 0%.

The Bank has changed its forward guidance on interest rates.

It now expects the key rates to remain at their present levels at least through the first half of next year - rather than their previous guidance which was for rates to stay steady until the end of this year.

Race is on for the next ECB president

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

building
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Who is going to take over from Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank?

Sarah Hewin, senior economist at Standard Chartered, tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme that much will depend on nationality of the next European Commission president, whose identity should be known next month.

If it is Jens Weidmann, the current head of the Bundesbank, the market thinks he would more likely want to raise interest rates sooner than others. But she urges caution: The ECB governing council is very collegial and it does not operate on votes in the way the Bank of England's monetary policy does.

"There's a recognition that the eurozones economy is still relatively weak," she said.

French candidates include François Villeroy de Galhau and the "wild card" of Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund. Candidates from Finland be "compromise candidates".

Draghi weighs in on Fed independence debate

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi waits to address the committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs at the European Parliament in Brussels on January 28, 2019
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European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said over the weekend he was concerned about central bank independence in the US, according to media reports.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticised the Federal Reserve's monetary policy in recent months.

Presidents generally avoid criticising the Fed publicly, for fear of politicising the institution and undermining confidence in its decisions.

“I’m certainly worried about central bank independence in other countries, especially... in the most important jurisdiction in the world,” Draghi was quoted as saying.

Draghi speaks

Mario Draghi
AFP

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, has been speaking at a conference in Frankfurt.

Earlier this month, the ECB said interest rates in the eurozone will not rise until next year at the earliest amid evidence of a slowdown in the 19 countries using the single currency.

"Just as we did at our March meeting, we would ensure that monetary policy continues to accompany the economy by adjusting our rate forward guidance to reflect the new inflation outlook," he said.