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« Will Import Taxes on Solar Panels hamper Silvers ability to rally? | Main | David Morgan: Central Bank Manipulation Of The Precious Metals Market »

ECB steps up battle against low inflation, slow-moving economy

ATHENS — The Globe and Mail

The European Central Bank entered untested territory by dropping a key interest rate into negative territory as it ramped up its campaign to prevent deflation and push down the euro. But the move, unprecedented for a big central bank, fell short of the all-out assault that the sluggish European economy may need to restore strong growth.

The negative rate was part of a deflation-fighting and growth package that included a plan to offer €400-billion ($597-billion) in cheap loans to the banks in the hope they will use the fresh liquidity to boost loans to businesses. ECB president Mario Draghi said he’s ready to deploy more weapons if inflation remains dangerously low, including quantitative easing – printing money, effectively.

“Are we finished? The answer is no,” he said Thursday, after the ECB’s regular policy-setting meeting in Frankfurt.

The equity markets rose after the announcement and the euro fell, only to reverse course later in the day to finish up a quarter of a percentage point, to $1.36 (U.S.). Some economists said the euro’s defiant rise was evidence that low inflation trend will be hard to break even if the ECB insists it sees no risk of outright deflation.

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The miners have started 2014 very well indeed on the back of rising gold prices, so the question is; is this the real deal or another head fake? Is the bottom really in? Could there be a final capitulation just ahead of us? Will the summer doldrums take the PMs lower?

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