If you think the price of gas is high in the U.S. don’t go driving around the old country. It’s not uncommon for our friends in Europe to pay twice as much at the pump. And just like in the U.S. the high cost of gas is creeping into many other areas of Europe's economy.
Does that mean an ECB rate hike is all but a done deal?
Not if the French, Germans and Italians have their way. German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck warned the European Central Bank not to raise interest rates, saying he feared an economic slowdown already taking place could be accelerated. Meanwhile top representatives from Italy and France have also voiced similar concerns.
But their opposition might be falling on deaf ears. Markets have priced in a hike in the ECB's key refinancing rate to 4.25 percent from 4.0 percent at the bank's Thursday policy meeting, after its President Jean-Claude Trichet said last month that a small adjustment to rates was possible.
Traders, what do you think?
I expect the ECB will raise rates despite the threat of backlash, says Fast Money's favorite international trader, Tim Seymour.
The rate hike is probably already in the dollar and in commodities, says Guy Adami, but I think it's rhetoric and wouldn't be surprised if Trichet leaves rates unchanged.