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European session review: EUR depreciates ahead of ECB’s rate announcement

TimeCountryEventPeriodPrevious valueForecastActual
06:00GermanyTrade Balance (s.a.), blnMarch16.116.116.7
07:50FranceServices PMIApril53.956.354.6
07:55GermanyServices PMIApril53.755.756
08:00EurozoneServices PMIApril5556.656.2
08:30United KingdomNet Lending to Individuals, blnMarch2.2 1.6
08:30United KingdomMortgage ApprovalsMarch44.12646.2552.011
08:30United KingdomConsumer credit, mlnMarch1.4851.21.574
08:30United KingdomPurchasing Manager Index ServicesApril52.954.955.9
09:00EurozoneProducer Price Index, MoM March-0.4%-1.7%-1.6%
09:00EurozoneProducer Price Index (YoY)March13.3%5.9%5.9%

EUR weakened against most of its major rivals in the European session on Thursday as investors eagerly awaited the announcement of the European Central Bank's latest decision on interest rates.

The ECB will announce its rate decision at 12:15 GMT. Market participants mostly expect the central bank of the Eurozone will deliver a 25-basis-point rate hike, though a possibility of a larger - 50 basis-point - increase is not completely off the table. 

If the Eurozone’s rate-setter does increase its key rates by 25 basis points, that would mark a shift to a slower pace of interest-rate increases compared to three straight 50-basis-point hikes in December, February and March, which followed two consecutive 75-basis-point raises in September and November. Overall, the ECB has lifted its interest rates for six meetings in a row by a combined 350 basis points since it began the current rate-hiking campaign in July last year.

Investors will scrutinize the ECB’s policy statement, as well as its president Christine Lagarde's post-decision comments, which is due at 12:45 GMT, for clues on the future path of interest rates in the Eurozone. 

Markets expect the ECB will continue to hike rates beyond today’s meeting as underlying inflation in the euro area remains strong, seeing two more 25-basis-point rate raises into October.

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