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Global Markets: Euro falls on cautious ECB, stocks rise as tariff plan looms

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dropped on Thursday as the signalled caution on inflation and protectionism, while world stock markets edged higher as U.S. vowed flexibility with his plan to impose steep import tariffs.

While the ECB took a small step towards weaning the zone off protracted stimulus by dropping its easing bias, ECB said monetary policy would remain "reactive" and that underlying inflation was subdued.

The was down 0.68 percent to $1.2328, while the dollar index rose 0.44 percent. MSCI's gauge of key world stock markets gained 0.27 percent, while the pan-European index rose 1.03 percent.

"They toned down the easing bias but there is still a willingness to ease and the tone of Draghi's comments was still dovish, stressing that there is still not a convincing uptrend in inflation," said Chris Scicluna,

Draghi also addressed the U.S. plans, saying: "If you put tariffs against (those) who are your allies, one wonders who the enemies are."

Trump offered the prospect of relief from and aluminum tariffs to countries that "treat us fairly on trade" as he prepared for a meeting on the topic later in the day.

"Anything that would suggest a little bit of a roll back from the tariffs is viewed as positive," said Scott Brown, at in St. Petersburg,

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.06 points, or 0.04 percent, to 24,811.42, the gained 3.02 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,729.82 and the Nasdaq added 21.33 points, or 0.29 percent, to 7,417.98.

Markets have been roiled over the past week by Trump's plans to impose a 25 percent on imports and 10 percent on aluminum that have sparked fears of a global trade war.

"It's a environment where people aren't really sure what is going to happen," said Willie Delwiche, at Baird in

"That's the big thing that's different this year versus last year: you're seeing more of this volatility as people try to sort out some new regimes that are out there," Delwiche said.

The U.S. was rattled as said it would buy for about $54 billion. Express Scripts shares jumped 10.9 percent while Cigna dropped 9.7 percent.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 8/32 in price to yield 2.8552 percent, from 2.883 percent late on Wednesday.

Oil fell, following a sharp rise in the dollar, steering prices towards a second weekly decline, against a backdrop of rising U.S. crude production and inventories.

U.S. crude fell 0.93 percent to $60.58 per barrel and Brent was at $64.03, down 0.48 percent.

Spot gold dropped 0.3 percent to $1,321.43 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by in Bengaluru, Dhara Ranasinghe, Tommy Wilkes and Marc Jones in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 23:29 IST