Heads up, euro traders! The ECB statement is comin’ right up (Sept. 12, 12:30 pm GMT) and word on the forex street is that some form of easing might be announced. Here’s my intel.
First off, it’s no secret that the euro zone isn’t exactly on cloud nine these days as its top economies have been printing dismal numbers. Germany, in particular, recently reported sharp declines in factory orders and industrial production that could put it on the brink of a recession.
In fact, this has been going on for quite some time and leading indicators suggest that the situation could persist, prompting incoming ECB head and former IMF Chief Lagarde to call for fiscal stimulus.
Yes to easing?
With that, most market players are betting that the central bank would likely pull the trigger in this upcoming meeting. Insiders also revealed that:
“ECB policymakers are leaning toward a revival package that includes a rate cut, a pledge to keep rates low for longer and compensation for banks over the side-effects of negative rates…”
Analysts from ING predict:
“As per our ECB Preview, we look for a 20bp depo rate cut, a small tiering system, a repricing of TLTROs and the restarting of QE (EUR 30 billion per month).”
No to easing?
However, a handful of ECB policymakers don’t seem have warmed up to the idea of stepping up their easing game just yet.
Governing Council member Jens Weidmann, the president of Germany’s Bundesbank, cautioned against launching new stimulus measures out of “panic” or simply for the sake of taking action.
Dutch central banker Klaas Knot echoed this sentiment in saying:
“If deflation risks come back on the agenda then I think the asset-purchase programme is the appropriate instrument to be activated, but there is no need for it in my reading of the inflation outlook right now.”
Still, it seems this skepticism towards additional stimulus is confined within a minority of the ECB.
It seems anybody’s guess at this point, but it looks like the odds are tilted towards a more dovish statement than usual. Take note that Mario Draghi is about to step down from his ECB post next month, and he might go out with a bang!But with the idea of policy easing already priced in for quite some time, a “buy the rumor, sell the news” profit-taking situation may be in order. Unless the ECB surprises with a much larger rate cut or asset purchase program than expected, there might still be a chance for the shared currency to stage a relief rally.
Then again, altering their forward guidance to keep the door open for more stimulus in the next rate statements could prove more long-term euro bearish. In any case, be mindful of additional volatility during the time of the event and make sure to practice proper risk management!