Thursday, April 21, 2016

Forex - Euro extends gains after ECB holds; Draghi eyed

© Reuters. Euro pushes higher against dollar after ECB holds, Draghi ahead© Reuters. Euro pushes higher against dollar after ECB holds, Draghi ahead - The euro extended gains against the dollar on Thursday after the at record lows as investors looked ahead to the bank's post policy meeting press conference.

was last at 1.1329 up from 1.1317 earlier, holding well below Wednesday's highs of 1.1387.

was at 124.30, little changed from 124.27 ahead of the announcement.

The governing council of the ECB held the for the euro zone at a record low zero, in a widely anticipated decision.

The , charged on commercial bank deposits at the ECB, remained at -0.4% and the marginal lending facility, which banks pay to borrow from the ECB, was unchanged at 0.25%.

The ECB also left its bond-buying program unchanged at €80 billion per month.

The ECB unveiled a raft of new measures last month, including interest rate cuts, additional monthly bond purchases and more cheap loans to banks, but the euro rallied after ECB chief Mario Draghi indicated that further rate cuts may not be necessary.

Investors were now turning their attention to the bank's post policy meeting press conference, with of the ECB's ultra-loose monetary policy from German officials.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said that negative interest rates are hurting Germany's banking system and are in part to blame for the rise of the right-wing anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany.

The ECB has eased policy aggressively, cutting rates deeper into negative territory and expanding its asset purchase program in a bid to spur price growth in the euro area.

The euro was steady against the pound, with at 0.7874.

In the U.K. data on Thursday showed that fell in March while .

The weak data added to indications that economic growth slowed in the first quarter.

Sterling was almost unchanged against the dollar following the data, with at 1.4339.

The , which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, slid 0.21% to 94.34.

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