European Central Bank introduces aggressive stimulus package to revive ailing economy

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The pound initially jumped 0.3 per cent against the euro on the news to hit €1.1239, as the single currency registered a sharp fall.

EURUSD jumps then slumps below 1.1000 post-release.

The central bank for the 19 countries that use the euro said it would cut the rate on deposits it takes from banks to minus 0.5% from minus 0.4%.

The ECB will also start buying €20 billion in bonds every month, starting in November as part of a quantitative easing program.

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Draghi, ECB president, said: "These risks mainly pertain to the prolonged presence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors, the rising threat of protectionism, and vulnerabilities in emerging markets". Markets do not expect rates to rise for almost a decade.

The ECB also will also introduce a tiered system to exclude some of the banks that would be suffering from negative rates - something that has been done in Japan and Denmark already.

"The Governing Council now expects the key European Central Bank interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until it has seen the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to, but below, 2 per cent", the European Central Bank added.

Data earlier on Thursday showed euro zone industrial production fell for a second month in July, while Germany's Ifo institute predicted a recession in Europe's economic powerhouse in the third quarter.

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The single currency, which had fallen 3.5 per cent against the dollar since the European Central Bank began signalling an easing of its monetary policy in June, initially surged then quickly reversed course to ease.

Attention now turns to Draghi's 1230 GMT news conference at which he will also reveal the bank's new economic projections.

Sentiment was also supported by U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that his administration would unveil a tax overhaul plan aimed at middle-income households next year.

All these measures are supposed to stimulate inflation, which is far from the European Central Bank target of close but below 2%, and ultimately - support growth, which is now set to slow down to just 1.1% this year and 1.2% next year. But will it be enough to revive the eurozone's embattled banks and inflation prospects? The decision appears to have been spurred by the prolonged trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Council members including Jens Weidmann and Klaas Knot, central bank governors for Germany and the Netherlands, respectively, came out against the move.

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