With Japanese computer game giant Nintendo set to release its latest Super Mario game to the hordes of computer game geeks tomorrow there is another Mario who will take the lime light today.
Starting at 11:45pm GMT today the ECB will announce its base rate decision and though it is expected to be a damp squib as the expectation is that there will be no change, the main event which will capture the attention of the market today will occur 45 minutes later.
The ECB press conference today (12:30pm GMT) will have both the EURO bulls and bears listening intently to what Mario Draghi will say about the central banks current bond buying program.
It is keenly anticipated that in this press conference, Mario Draghi will mention details on how and when the ECB will reduce, end or even extend its bond buying stimulus program.
Since this current QE program started in 2015, there has been many signs of improvement in the euro-zone economy with the likes of unemployment now at 9.1% versus the 11.3% it was at before the program started. Because of the strengthening in the euro area there have been calls for the ECB to start tapering its quantitative easing and to start to bring monetary policy back to normal.
However, there are many who are concerned that if they were to do so right now, the bloc will experience a shock to the system which it won’t be able to handle. The other worry is that inflation is at 1.5% which is way below the target of 2% and if such a move did happen the euro would appreciate further adding to the problem.
Since President Macron’s election win back in May the EURO/USD has enjoy a bullish run and despite a few hiccups along the way such as Angela Merkel’s disappointing election result it is still trading at levels not seen since January 2015. The performance of the Euro this year has led many to fear that it could hinder the Eurozone’s current economic recovery.
With no rate hike expected till the first quarter of 2019, the ECB plan with its stimulus program could be the key behind how the euro will perform and details of that plan the market is hoping to get today. So all eyes on you Mario.
At the time of writing it appears of bit of calm before the storm with the EUR/USD trading at 1.1815 and the EUR/GBP at 0.8929.