Pressured by Dovish ECB, Underpinned by Concerns Over US-China Trade Relations

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The USD/JPY pair are trading at 110.48 Yen, down 0.17%; the pair earlier hit a peak of 110.690 Yen while the low is at 110.457 Yen.

"If the United States takes unilateral protectionist measures and harms China's interests, we will respond immediately and take necessary measures to firmly safeguard our legitimate rights", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday.

The dollar slipped against its global peers today as the USA slapped new tariffs on Chinese goods, reviving the markets' fears of a trade war, dealers said.

The Asia Pacific MSCI index edged down 0.2 per cent, with most regional markets shrugging off a strong close on Wall Street.

The ECB's crisis-era stimulus of massive bond purchases aimed at boosting the euro zone economy will end this year but interest rates will remain steady at least through the summer of 2019, the ECB's president Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

The ECB statement on Thursday indicated that it would end its bond buying program by the end of 2018 but added that it was unlikely that there would be any rise in interest rates before the end of summer 2019.

"With the statement that key interest rates will remain at historically low levels until the summer of 2019, the European Central Bank has removed any fantasy of an earlier rate hike". U.S. President Donald Trump has chose to impose "pretty significant" tariffs and will announce a list targeting $50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday, and a second wave of products worth $100 billion has been cued up. Short term rate forecasts were shifted marginally higher, with the median dot for this year indicating two more rate increases were on the cards, suggesting that the central bank is on course to hike again in September and then again in December.

The Pound spent much of Wednesday morning trading on the back foot following yesterday's inflation miss, which remained unrevised in May after analysts had expected an upward revision.

Antoine Griezmann gets autographs from France 1998 World Cup heroes
But last week Lionel Messi said he was sure he would link up well with Griezmann were he to move to the Camp Nou. He has scored three goals in 12 matches with the national team since his November 2016 debut.

Moreover, the President of the European Central Bank committed to subdued interest rates at record low levels for "as long as necessary" to reach the 2% target rate of inflation.

Japan's Nikkei average closed up 0.5 percent and Australian shares ended 1.3 percent higher.

Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that this month's meeting could see the European Central Bank outline a timetable for exiting its post euro-crisis stimulus programme.

Across the Atlantic, the US Federal Reserve moved to increase interest rates, responding to strong retail sales.

There is also mounting concern over political upheaval in Italy, higher oil prices and the threat of a trade war with the US.

Oil prices were little changed as investors eyed a key Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna.

Brent crude, the global standard, fell 13 cents to $75.81 per barrel.

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