The European Central Bank (ECB) has signaled that it plans to raise interest rates in Europe by 0.5% in September, further to a planned rise of 0.25% in July. This half point hike is only planned should inflation fail to ease off from its current level of 8.1%. These hikes would life Europe out of negative interest rates for the first time since 2014. The ECB also said that it plans to keep its balance sheet of purchased bonds level and won't consider reducing it until after the rate hike cycle begins. There was, however, disagreement between members of the board as to when to start reducing this showing a shift in sentiment. European sovereign debt fell in value following the news, whilst the Euro fell against other major currencies. European equities were also lower following the news as recession fears increased, along with the surprisingly hawkish ECB.