Thursday, the interest rate decision from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank are in focus. The ECB is widely expected to cut its key interest rate to a record low, while the BoE is likely to stay pat.
At the end of two-day rate setting meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the BoE is expected to hold the key interest rate at a historical low of 0.5%. The rate now stands at the lowest level since the central bank was established in 1694. The decision is due at 7.00am ET.
Forty-five minutes later, the European Central Bank is widely expected to announce its decision to cut its key interest rate sharply to support the 15-nation economy. The Governing Council would possibly cut the interest rate on the main refinancing operations, by a quarter percentage point to an all-time low of 1%, according to economists. The ECB has lowered a total of three full percentage points since early October 2008.
A rate below 1% will provide no incentive to banks to lend to each other, paralyzing interbank lending. So the rate would not go below 1%.
Further, economists expect the ECB to adopt quantitative easing measures as the key interest rate reached a near zero level.
At 2.00am ET, Finnish new motor vehicle registrations statistics for the month of April is due. In the meantime, output indicator for February is also expected.
Hungarian industrial production as well as trade balance for March is due from the statistical office at 3.00am ET. The trade surplus is seen at EUR 285 million in March, down from EUR 310.7 million in February. Meanwhile, industrial output is predicted to fall 23.2% annually in March.
Thereafter, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office is slated to release the April consumer prices report. Consumer prices are forecast to drop 0.6% annually in April, severe than the 0.4% decrease seen in March. On a monthly basis, an increase of 0.6% is expected.
At 5.00am ET, the Sedlabanki interest rate decision is due.
At 6.00am ET, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is scheduled to issue German factory orders. The annual decline for March is seen at 35.8%. Economists forecast a 1% monthly decrease in new orders.
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