Draghi behind EU symbol

The European Central Bank’s governing council met today to discuss policy following the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

President Mario Draghi refused to be drawn on the prospect for any further stimulus in September. But he stressed that while Brexit was a “headwind” the financial system had proved resilient.

Key points

  • Rates have been kept on hold
  • Mr Draghi says that markets have shown “encouraging resilience” to the Brexit vote
  • The ECB had not discussed changing the terms of its asset purchases to include a wider range of bonds
  • The recovery is continuing – all be it at a slower pace
  • Shares in Italian banks jumped following Mr Draghi’s statement that a public backstop for non-performing loans would be “very useful”

 

The European Central Bank has kept rates and policy on hold in April after delivering a raft of cuts last month.

The key focus of president Mario Draghi’s press conference – which begins at 13.30 London time – will be the fraught relationship between the central bank and the eurozone’s largest economy. Germany politicians have been lining up to criticise the ECB’s easing policy, which have hurt German savers and smaller German banks that rely on interest income.

Key developments

  • Headline deposit rate held at -0.40%
  • More information on the corporate bond buying process will be released after the press conference
  • Statement from the council says that the focus is “is now on the implementation of the additional non-standard measures”
  • ECB has started to expand monthly purchases under the asset purchase programme to €80bn
  • The ECB will buy bonds from all non-banks with above an unspecified credit rating, including maturities up to 30 years.

By Emily Cadman and Chris Giles

 

The ECB has cut rates further into negative territory as it seeks to stimulate the eurozone amid the global economic downturn.

Mario Draghi has unveiled a whole host of new measures in response to the slowdown in growth in emerging markets and the sharp fall in the oil price.

Key developments

  • Headline deposit rate cut by 10 basis points to -0.40%

  • The asset purchase programme increased from €60bn to €80bn

  • Scope of QE expanded to include non-bank corporate bonds issued in eurozone

  • A new series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations aimed at providing cheap liquidity

  • GDP and inflation forecasts revised down:

  • GDP: 1.4% in 2016, 1.7% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018

  • Inflation: 0.1% in 2016, 1.3% in 2017 and 1.6% in 2018

  • By Emily Cadman and Mark Odell

 

Amid a backdrop of market turmoil in emerging markets and tumbling oil prices, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi monthly press conference is being closely watched for indications as to whether the ECB is ready to embark on more policy easing in 2016.

Few observers expect imminent action, in part because it is only six weeks since the central bank unveiled its last round of monetary stimulus. One possibility is March when the ECB’s staff unveils its latest projections for inflation and growth.

Key points so far:

  • In his opening remarks, Draghi says it will be necessary to review and possibly reconsider the monetary policy stance in March
  • Germany’s five year borrowing cost has dropped to a record low of minus 0.23 per cent as investors bookmark March for an ECB rate cut
  • Euro also down on Draghi’s hint that more stimulus is coming
  • Interest rates will “remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time” Mr Draghi says, opening the door to more rate cuts
  • The governing council was unanimous in opening the door to further measures
  • Benchmark main refinancing rate and deposit rate unchanged at 0.05 per cent and minus 0.3 per cent respectively

 

Following the deadliest terrorist atrocity in a western city in more than a decade, security and border controls have been tightened across Europe. France is in a state of emergency, and security forces across the continent are scrambling to track down those involved in the plot, which French president François Hollande described as “an act of war” in a television address.

Key points

  • The French police are looking for a suspect named as Salah Abdeslam, 26, a French national, who is still on the loose
  • Two of the attackers are believed to have been French nationals who lived in Brussels
  • Belgium authorities have arrested at least five people in relation to a car with Belgian number plates found near the scene in Paris
  • A further suspect has been identified as Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29-year-old Frenchman, known to the authorities. Six of his relatives have been detained by authorities, including a brother who said that he had had no recent contact with Mostefai
  • The attacks were carried out by at least seven gunmen in three co-ordinated teams
  • Isis claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement on Saturday saying “this is only the beginning of the storm”
  • 132 people were killed and 349 wounded in a series of co-ordinated attacks on Friday night
  • There will be a minute’s silence across Europe tomorrow at 11am
  • For a full round-up of the FT’s coverage as well as the best from the rest of the web see FirstFT

By Emily Cadman and Joseph Cotterill

 

The European Central Bank kept rates on hold as expected and downgraded its inflation and growth forecasts, as Mario Draghi adopted a more dovish tone in his press conference.

 

Mark Carney, governor, will unveil the Bank of England’s latest forecasts for the UK economy and give further guidance on the likely path of interest rate rises in London at 1030 GMT on Wednesday. Here are the key things to watch out for: Read more

The Bank of England governor also signalled that the central bank will drop the simple link between interest rates and the unemployment rate in a speech to British business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

UK Chancellor George Osborne and former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers have just locked horns at Davos on the UK’s economic recovery. Whilst Summers didn’t directly use the words “you blew it” as some reported, FT reporters on the ground say that was the clear sentiment.

 Read more

FT editor Lionel Barber on why Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani wants to end Iran’s isolation and why he might be the leader that the west could do business with.

From the World Economic Forum in Davos, Martin Wolf on whether markets are safer now and why Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s comments on China are the most sobering he has heard at Davos in years.

FT senior columnist Gillian Tett reports on why business and governments are at loggerheads over where growth will come from, with business saying it is not ready to invest, yet confidence in governments is low.

 Read more

And here are the other talking points from the first morning tech-focused sessions:

1. “Internet of things” worth $19tn

John Chambers, the chief executive of Cisco, has just put a number on the “Internet of Things” – and it’s big.

In fact, it’s very big – a whopping $19tn – more on FastFT

2. Management editor Andrew Hill reports that Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com has set the pace – literally – by pointing out he lost 30lb using the Fitbit personal health tracker. When he stopped working out last week – because he had a cold – his “Fitbit friend” Michael Dell called him to check he was OK.

“There’s a fitness challenge at Davos this year – they’re handing out fitness bands to monitor delegates’ patterns of sleep and exercise. I suspect it may reveal a grisly picture of lost sleep, hangovers and canape overload.”

 Read more

(c) World Economic Forum

It’s day one at Davos, with business and political leaders, gathered in the Swiss resort for the first sessions. Here is what you should read today before the action starts:

1. The FT’s economics editor Chris Giles lays out the message economy
experts attending the forum will be sending. That is: We may have
eliminated the horrors but we’re still fragile – ie, the eurozone,
falling productivity and widening inequality within countries. Here is the
FT’s editor Lionel Barber and here Martin Wolf on what to expect from
Davos.

2. The FT’s Gideon Rachman provided some lighthearted bedtime reading on
dogs, Russian pianists and extreme chance meetings.

3. The gender gap is just as evident at Davos as it is in many other
places across the business world. See our interactive to view just how big
that gap is. Read more

After days of severe weather warnings and anticipation, England suffered transport chaos and widespread power cuts this morning after a storm with gusts of up to 99 mph hit southern England.

Though the storm was not severe by international standards, it is the worst to hit the country in a number of years.

Porthleven in Cornwall. (c) Getty Images

This video from the Met Office shows the progress of the storm across the country.

The worst of the weather is now over, with the focus turning to the cleanup.

London’s rail stations were eerily quiet as most major rail companies cancelled all early morning trains.

(c) Claer Barrett

(c) Claer Barrett

Network Rail, like many other companies, took to Twitter to update commuters on problems.

It said that more than 100 trees have been discovered on the rail network across the south east so far today.

As of 10am, many major commuter routes were still closed. Read more