European Central Bank Cuts Europe’s Growth Forecast; Announces More Stimulus

European shares pull back ahead of ECB meeting

The worries knocked European stock markets lower where the STOXX 600 index suffered its biggest daily percentage drop in a month and worst week this year.

Shares from Sydney to Hong Kong fell, with China's market slumping the most this year as traders interpreted a rare sell rating from the nation's largest brokerage as a sign the government wants to curb gains. Officials said they'll freeze the interest rate this year while also offering banks cheaper loans to prompt more lending to businesses.

The sentiment in Asian markets was negative on Friday morning before trading began, after Thursday saw European Central Bank (ECB) Chief Mario Draghi announce a U-turn on monetary easing, reflecting growing unease over European economic activity just months after the end of years of quantitative easing was announced.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 eased 0.1 percent.

The reversal came in the same week that Canada's central bank took a sudden dovish turn and dismal data from Australia to the United Kingdom instilled a sense of foreboding in markets.

USA stocks, which are in the midst of a mile recovery, took a beating following the deflating news from the European Central Bank.

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"ECB's decision echoed USA dollar strength, and we saw risk aversion".

Compounding concerns was a US payrolls report that fell well short of expectations, although other measures within the report were strong, sending mixed signals to investors. Nonfarm payrolls may have increased by 180,000, while the jobless rate fell to 3.9%, according to estimates.

"Strong non-farm payrolls results and further positive developments in U.S".

The Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) exchange rate sank around half a cent yesterday as the "Greenback" found itself in demand following the drop in the Euro.

"There is reason to argue that the European Central Bank would need to keep rates lower than beyond the guidance date because if you look at their inflation forecasts out to 2021, you would need some form of accommodation to reach these levels of growth", said ING senior rates strategist Benjamin Schroeder.

Friday's rise reduced the euro's weekly loss against the dollar to 1.1 percent.

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The ECB updates projections once a quarter.

"Euro interest rates could be at current levels into 2021".

Gold and the dollar typically move in opposite directions.

In commodity markets, oil prices eased as USA crude output and exports climbed to record highs, undermining efforts by producer club OPEC to tighten global markets.

The most active gold contract for April delivery rose 13.20 dollars, or 1.03 percent, to settle at 1,299.30 dollars per ounce.

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