The European Central Bank makes its first decision on interest rates for this year this afternoon. Inflation in the eurozone remains well below the target of near-2%, so eurozone interest rates are almost certain to remain where they are, at negative 0.5%. The ECB will also continue to print money via quantitative easing.
However, while no surprises are expected, investors will be paying particularly close attention as new boss Christine Lagarde continues to settle in. This is her second rate-setting meeting and investors will be looking for any hints as to how the ECB’s year-long strategic review might pan out.
Later in the afternoon, we’ll get the latest reading on consumer confidence across the region. Broadly speaking, consumers are hardly over the moon. But nor are they so gloomy that the data suggests a recession is imminent.
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Elsewhere, the Norwegian central bank is also due to report its latest interest rate decision. The key interest rate is expected to remain at 1.5%.
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