Stocks are in the green early in the European trading session.
Britain’s FTSE 100 is up 0.4%.
Germany’s DAX is up 0.4%.
France’s CAC 40 is up 0.8%.
Italy’s FTSE MIB is up 0.9%.
Later today, the European Central Bank (ECB) will announce its monetary policy decision.
The consensus expects no change. But with inflation low and the economy persistently weak, there is a growing minority of economists who believe a rate cut or new monetary stimulus package is on its way.
“Economists at Citi, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse, and a few other shops think the ECB will pull the trigger on Thursday, announcing a cut to its benchmark refinancing rate — which currently stands at 0.25% — by either 10 or 15 basis points,” reported Business Insider’s Matthew Boesler.
“Expectations of a rate cut are off the mark, despite continued low inflation readings,” says Lorcan Roche Kelly, an analyst at Agenda Research. “ECB President Mario Draghi continues to insist that inflation expectations are firmly anchored over the medium term. He would only move on interest rates if he thought disinflation or deflation was becoming self-sustaining.”
The ECB will release its decision on interest rates Thursday at 7:45 AM ET. Mario Draghi’s monthly press conference ensues at 8:30 AM.