The European currency also got a boost from an improvement in risk appetite, with US stocks ending higher after US President George W. Bush announced plans aimed at slowing the tide of homeowner foreclosures and shield the economy from the sub-prime mortgage crisis. An estimated 1.2 million homeowners could benefit from the assistance plan to avoid foreclosure over the next couple of years, according to Bush.
The ECB left its benchmark interest rate steady at 4 percent, but Trichet warned of strong upward pressure on inflation, adding that some central bank governors had favored a rate increase. Before the ECB's rate decision, financial markets had expected the bank would not raise rates at all during 2008, with a significant minority forecasting a cut.
Yesterday, EurUsd was trading up 0.42% at 1.4657, after touching a session high of 1.4657. EurJpy also rose 0.85% to 163.26. UsdJpy rose 0.41%to 111.37, lifted by firmer US stocks. But Dollar lost ground against the high-yielding Australian and New Zealand currencies.
The Dollar, which had traded higher prior to the ECB rate verdict, was also held back as traders became cautious ahead of November's non-farm payrolls report on Friday, analysts said. The reading of the jobs data could determine whether the Federal Reserve cuts its benchmark overnight lending rate by just 25bp to 4.25% or by 50bp next Tuesday.
The surprisingly stronger reading from the US ADP private sector jobs report buoyed the dollar on Wednesday and handed the Euro its biggest one-day drop since July 2006.
GbpUsd ended unchanged at 2.0281, after hitting a fresh two-month low 2.0181 further to Bank of England cut rates by 25bp to 5.50%. The BoE cut follows a surprise easing from Canada on Tuesday, suggesting that the economic fallout from the US sub-prime mortgage crisis and the subsequent credit crunch is not limited to the United States.