The European Central Bank launched a very aggressive package of stimuli and interest rates cuts across the board to combat low inflation and growth in the Eurozone, expanding its monthly assets purchases by 20 billion euros to 80B from 60B, and applying the scope of assets to non-bank corporate debt, a major development.
All of that backfired however, when the ECB president Mario Draghi nearly ruled out any more rate cuts in the future, sending the euro and European governmental yields sharply higher, and hammering the dollar in the process, while raising demand on safe havens like the yen and previous metals.
Euro last stood at 1.1170 against the dollar, near a one-month peak at 1.1216. The common currency hit a fresh three-week high against Japan's yen at 126.75, up an additional 0.15% on the day. Sterling was largely flat versus the euro at 0.7826, near a two-week low struck yesterday.
Wall Street ended largely lower due to surging risk-aversion in the markets, with Dow Jones retreating five points, or 0.03% to end at 16,995, while NASDAQ Composite dipped 12 points, or 0.26% to close at 4,662. S&P 500 barely rose, registering a gain of 0.02% to rest at 1,989.
Investors wait for an array of data today, with Britain's construction output expected to have tumbled 1.3% m/m in January, after locking in a 1.5% expansion in December, putting more negative pressure on the British pound.
From the United States, import prices are forecast to have fallen 0.7% m/m in February, adding to January's 1.1%, while would raise red flags on U.s. inflation prospects and could convince the Federal Reserve to delay hiking interest rates in the near future.