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Draghi walks the line, markets rally

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reinforced his status as the central bankers’ central banker overnight as the ECB left interest rates unchanged. In contradictory moves both bonds and stocks rallied, reflecting the ECB message of a positive outlook but no removal of monetary support. The Euro weakened and the USD rallied. The share market rally continued into US trading and strong company reports supported the positive moves.

Draghi, the maestro of messaging, acknowledged the “moderation” in European growth so far this year while expressing high confidence in the outlook. He stated the ECB did not discuss either monetary policy or currency volatility, removing market concerns about a withdrawal of accommodation. Growth, inflation and confidence numbers due tonight constrained activity.

In a huge reporting session 69 of the top 500 US companies released quarterly earnings. Results from Microsoft, Facebook and the aftermarket release of Amazon’s profit surge smashed recent investor woes about the tech sector, and the Nasdaq index was the top performer.

Asia Pacific futures markets are pointing to opening gains of 0.5% - 1%. While lower local currencies are likely to add to investor enthusiasm background trade concerns could keep a lid on any market surge. The Australia 200 index could underperform again today as ongoing concerns about the impact of the Royal Commission weigh on the financial sector.

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