Euro jumps on European Central Bank minutes; US CPI & retail sales on the horizon

Global Markets Stocks resume ascent on earnings hopes euro gets lift from ECB

The bank's stimulus policy has aimed at overcoming sluggish inflation and growth in the wake of the Great Recession and subsequent eurozone debt crisis that saw several members of the currency union need bailouts from the other members.

The euro surged more than half of a percent against the dollar on the comments, with investors taking the relatively hawkish statement as a further signal that the European Central Bank will wind down its 2.55 trillion euro bond purchase scheme this year if growth continues to roar ahead.

Germany's DAX 30 index declined 0.6% to end at 13,202.90, and France's CAC 40 turned lower, finishing down by 0.3% at 5,488.55.

Safe-haven assets such as gold and the yen firmed up ahead of earnings from the big United States banks and consumer inflation data due later in the day, while oil prices eased a little bit after hitting their highest levels since December 2014 in the previous session.

The euro's overnight index swap rates have risen sharply this week as traders price in higher chance of a rate hike early next year.

Vivendi SA shares (VIV.FR) fell 1.1%, with the French media group saying it foresees 2017 growth of 20% to 25% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/vivendi-confirms-it-expects-20-25-earnings-growth-2018-01-12) in earnings before interest, taxes and amortization.

More news: Trump administration bars oil drilling off Florida after governor's plea

MSCI's broadest gauge of the world's stock markets also hit a record high on Thursday, having risen in seven of the eight business days so far this year for a total increase of 3.3 percent. The Australian dollar rose to $0.7891, from $0.7842, but shied away from stiff chart resistance at $0.7900. Japan's Nikkei, however, dropped for a third day, shedding 0.2 per cent for the day and 0.3 per cent for the week.

The kiwi gained to 4.7080 Chinese yuan from 4.6838 yuan on Thursday after the Chinese government quashed speculation it was considering cutting its purchases of US Treasuries. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 37 cents to $63.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The central bank left monetary policy unchanged at the mid-December meeting, but previously announced it would slow down its monthly purchases of bonds from €60bn to €30bn - an acknowledgement that less stimulus was needed.

A stronger Euro may not be what the European Central Bank wants as it heads back to multi year highs, helping deflate producer price pressures.

Oil prices retreated from big gains the previous day but still traded near three-year highs on signs of tightening supply in the US.

The euro jumped to its highest level against the dollar since early 2015 on Friday after German lawmakers agreed on a coalition, more than three months after the country's general election.

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