The ECB leaves rates unchanged. Mario Draghi's press conference hit the euro

The euro was trading fairly volatile in tandem with the US dollar, but then dropped sharply following the beginning of the press conference at which the president of the European Central Bank expressed concerns about a slowdown in the eurozone's economic growth rate at the end of this year.

All attention today in the afternoon was riveted to the decision of the European Central Bank, which left the refinancing rate unchanged at the level of 0.0%. The European Central Bank also kept the deposit rate at a negative level, -0.40%.

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The regulator confirmed that it plans to complete net acquisitions of assets at the end of December 2018, but in the future it is also planned to completely reinvest funds received as a result of QA over a long period even after the first interest rate increase.

With regard to the conditions of monetary policy, the ECB expects rates to remain at current levels at least until the summer of 2019 inclusive.

ECB economists have negatively revised their forecasts for the growth of the eurozone economy over the next three years.

GDP growth is expected to be at 1.9% in 2018, while the September forecast was 2.0%. GDP growth in 2019 is projected at 1.7%, while the September forecast was 1.8%. But GDP growth for 2020 remained unchanged, at the level of 1.7%.

As for inflation, experts predict its growth at the end of the year. It is expected that the EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices in 2018 will be 1.8%, while in September it was projected to grow by 1.7%.

However, it should be noted that a sharp drop in oil and other energy prices may adversely affect inflation growth at the end of the year, as was the case with the US consumer price index, which has slowed to zero.

ECB experts predict that inflation in 2019 will be 1.6% against the September forecast of 1.7% and 1.7% in 2020.

The speech of the president of the European Central Bank sharply pulled down the euro.

The ECB president said that the latest economic data were weaker than expected, and the uncertainty associated with protectionism, emerging markets, is still strongly expressed, which may affect the pace of economic growth.

Immediately after saying that a substantial monetary stimulus is still needed, the euro went down against a number of world currencies, as many experts were counting on a different kind of statement.

Draghi also noted that the risks to economic growth prospects are generally balanced, but the balance of risks is shifting downwards.

All this once again confirms the fact that the European Central Bank will continue to closely monitor the incoming economic data, and only a real revival of economic growth, along with the solution of a number of problems related to protectionism and political risks, will make it possible to seriously start discussing the first increase in interest rates in the eurozone after the 2008 crisis.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company - www.instaforex.com