The euro sank to a day’s low and European stock markets and bond yields fell back on Thursday, undoing initial gains, after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said policymakers did not discuss removing the bank’s easing bias on monetary policy.
Markets had initially surged on language in the bank’s statement, read by Draghi, which said the recovery was increasingly solid and that downside risks to the euro zone’s recovery had diminished.
But other parts of the statement and Draghi’s replies to questions stressed the barriers the ECB still faces before beginning to tighten both the bank’s stance and the ultra-loose financing conditions it has maintained for the past nine years.
Euro zone government bond yields gave up earlier increases and headed lower after Draghi’s comments.
Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield fell more than 2 basis points to a two-day low at 0.325 percent , while money market rates fell as investors scaled back ECB rate-hike expectations .
The eurozone STOXX 50 pared back earlier gains and Italy’s FTSE MIB hit a session low while Eurozone banks hit a day’s low, last down 1.2 percent.
The euro fell 0.3 percent on the day to a low of $1.0857 .
“The Q&A revealed that … some of the members hadn’t turned at all whereas I felt Draghi had shifted a little bit to be less dovish,” said Neil Jones, head of FX sales at Mizuho.
“I didn’t sense that was unanimous,” he added, saying Draghi’s comment on the easing bias had added to pressure on the euro.