Trade row has ECB's Draghi anxious over state of global relations

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Since the ECB's January 25 meeting, the pace of the euro's rise has cooled a bit and the currency has declined almost 2 percent. All sectors rose, led by the consumer-goods group. Germany's Xetra Dax added 0.79% to 12,342, while the CAC 40 in France was up 1.29% at 5,254.

The U.S. Dollar rose against a basket of major currencies with the exception of the Canadian Dollar on Thursday.

The euro dropped to $1.2314 from $1.2411 late Wednesday in NY.

Other UK ecostats due on Friday, including construction output and NIESR's UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimate for February, could also influence Sterling slightly before markets close for the week.

What was driving the market?

"As we pointed out before, sooner or later, the strong euro had to have some impact".

Gold steadied on Thursday as uncertainty ahead of a European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting and further news on USA trade tariffs kept the metal in a narrow range, though a stronger dollar pressured prices.

Stocks in Europe and the United States also moved higher.

The euro had earlier climbed, and stocks dropped, after the European Central Bank gave up its pledge to expand or extend quantitative easing if the economic outlook deteriorated.

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While the ECB is expected to maintain a cautious policy stance, economists say a robust economic backdrop could make it increasingly hard to maintain the so-called easing bias - a stipulation that the bank can increase asset purchases if necessary.

Traders were waiting to see if the rate setters would remove that particular bit, as it could indicate the end of QE is moving closer.

In December, the European Central Bank predicts inflation to rise to 1.7% by 2020, which is again below the target.

The Governing Council kept interest rates unchanged, as expected: the benchmark main refinancing rate at zero and the deposit rate at minus 0.40 per cent.

"A number of policymakers on the governing council favour a sudden stop to the EUR30 billion monthly asset purchase program in the aftermath of that date, while some favour a change to the wording with respect to downside risks to the economy", says CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

USA stocks rose after President Donald Trump announced tariffs that were narrower than some traders had anticipated.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), discussed new stimulus measures for the euro zone on Thursday. While the new rules were expected to be signed by Trump today, it now seems that may be pushed back to allow more time to prepare legal documents. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

The effect on spreads and on a flat euro was minimal after former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a newspaper interview he would support the leader of the eurosceptic League party in attempts to form a government.