Friday, September 05 09:21:26
The euro was deep in the red on Friday, having suffered its steepest fall in three years after the European Central Bank stunned markets by cutting interest rates and embarking on a trillion-euro asset-buying binge.
The aggressive shift sent short-term bond yields into negative territory in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Austria, giving investors an overwhelming incentive to sell euros for higher-yielding assets elsewhere.
After surging to a 6-1/2 month high on Thursday, European share markets saw some minor profit taking as the U.S. payrolls report loomed large later in the session.
London's FTSE 100, the DAX in Frankfurt and CAC 40 in Paris were all around 0.1-0.2 percent lower but this week's gains - the fourth in a row - took the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 index's rise since mid August to over 8 percent.
The single currency's capitulation came after ECB President Mario Draghi announced a range of rate cuts and a new plan to push money into the flagging euro zone economy.
In a news conference, Draghi said the aim was to expand the bank's balance sheet back to the heights reached in early 2012, which equates to a rise of around 50 percent or 1 trillion euros in new assets. (Reuters)
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