The British pound reached a seven year high against the euro on Monday as the European Central Bank launched its asset purchase program. The price of 0.71691 was the strongest level it’s been at since the end of 2007. ECB’s expectation of its quantitative easing program is to ignite inflation and euro zone growth. Greece will open talks with the ECB and the IMF on Wednesday regarding its economic reforms.
The Australian Business Confidence data showed a 3-point drop in the index, to zero. This is the lowest level of its business confidence since 2013, caused mainly by the economic uncertainty over the February interest rate cut to 2.25%. In China news, the Consumer Price Index rose to 1.4% early on Tuesday, beating market forecasts and rising away from the January five-year low of 0.8%.
The US dollar is trading close to multi-year highs both against the euro and the Japanese yen; it reached a three month high versus the yen of 121.741. The strong jobs data on Friday helped boost the greenback and raised confidence in a Fed rate hike soon. The major US indices also posted gains – the Dow Jones (USA30) climbed back to $18,018, and the S&P500 (USA500) gained almost 0.40%.