Europe under pressure as oil stumbles; ECB eyed – CNBC

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On Thursday, investors pored over the details from the ECB Governing Council’s latest meeting, with the council saying the introduction of negative interest rates had been “broadly” beneficial for banks in the euro zone. The ECB did however express caution over cutting the deposit facility rate further, as it “could unduly increase the pressure on banks’ profitability” and impact the sector’s level of stability.

In addition, the minutes showed that the ECB discussed an exemption scheme for some bank reserves from the negative rates, however doubts over the system’s complexity suggested it wasn’t warranted. Overall, minutes revealed that most voting members supported the proposed policy package which was announced back in March.

Equities saw a slight slip following the release, while the euro briefly jumped against the U.S. dollar, trading at $1.140, before paring. Banks were one of Europe’s worst performing sectors during trade, off almost 2 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB index was off almost 2 percent, with a large number of its banks seeing sharp declines, including BMPS and Unicredit.

Looking at news from overseas, investors worldwide have also been digesting the latest set of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC),which came out after Europe’s closing bell on Wednesday. Minutes from the March meeting suggested a divided central bank, with many policymakers showing caution towards an interest rate hike in April, while others indicated that it was justified.

In Asia, sentiment picked up during trade, with markets in Japan seeing slight gains despite a strengthened yen.

Europe under pressure as oil stumbles; ECB eyed – CNBC