Euro Hanging on ECB Rate Cut Speculation

   on May 02 2013 8:11 AM
ECB Draghi 2012 2
ECB President Mario Draghi. Reuters

The euro steadied just below Wednesday's two week high ahead of the European Central Bank's meeting.

The currency traded at $1.3162 on Thursday morning as investors waited for bank President Mario Draghi's press conference following the meeting for the bank's plan to help pull the region out of the prolonged financial crisis.

A recent string of poor data prompted investors to believe that the bank would cut its already record low interest rate to 0.50 percent. ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann's comments in mid-April, which claimed that the bank would consider a rate cut if economic data from the region continued to disappoint, were the catalyst for weeks of speculation.

Since Weidmann's comments, the region has produced very few reasons to keep the bank from making the cut. Eurozone unemployment is at its highest level since the creation of the euro, with more than 19.2 million people out of work. While the eurozone as a whole posted at staggering 12.1 percent jobless rate, the figure is even higher among countries that have received bailouts.

According to CNBC, the numbers are especially high for young people, with more than half of Greek and Spanish youth under 25 out of work.

The most recent blow to the eurozone came on Tuesday, when data showing inflation decreased significantly in April was released. Although economists predicted a 1.6 percent reading, inflation fell to 1.2 percent. The figure is significantly lower than March's 1.7 percent reading and far below the ECB's target of two percent.

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