Europe ends under pressure; ECB, BoE hold fire on interest rates

In Europe, the focus is on monetary policy with three meetings taking place during Thursday’s session. First off, the Bank of England (BoE) decided to hold fire on raising interest rates Thursday, with all rate-setters voting unanimously to hold rates at 0.75 percent, as expected.

In a statement, the BoE admitted that since its previous meeting, there have been indications of “greater uncertainty about future developments in the (EU) withdrawal process”, with this being particularly seen in financial markets.

During mid-trade, the Turkish central bank announced that it had increased its benchmark rate to 24 percent, a hike of 625 basis points from the previous rate of 17.75 percent. The Turkish lira rose sharply against the dollar following the decision, which was seen as having exceeded market expectations.

In Frankfurt, the European Central Bank decided to kept its benchmark interest rates unchanged Thursday, which was widely expected. During the press conference, President Mario Draghi talked about the state of monetary policy, and reaffirmed his confidence in the economic state of the euro zone.

The ECB chief did, however, warn that global risks, such as financial market volatility and protectionism had gained “prominence.” The euro rose against the dollar in afternoon trade and by Europe’s close.

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