ECB and Bank of Japan keep monetary policy on hold

As expected, the European Central Bank (ECB) has announced it will leave interest rates unchanged in its press conference held earlier today. Mr Draghi reaffirmed the view that Europe still has plenty of way to go in its recovery and a substantial amount of stimulus is still needed to support this growth, downplaying his hawkish comments on the eurozone recovery made at the end of last month. Mr Draghi has also said there is no specific date when the ECB will think about a change in its bond buying programme, but pledged to step up its 60 billion euro-a-month quantitative easing programme if necessary. The euro is up 0.4 per cent on the day against the dollar, as the market absorbs Draghi’s announcement. The Bank of Japan has followed the ECB by leaving its monetary policy on hold and has pushed back its inflation goal by a year, to 2019. Comments referring to a weaker than expected consumer price index in Japan caused the yen to slip 0.2 per cent against the dollar.