Central Banks

Euro surges against dollar as Draghi says QE tightening talks will start in September

Key Points
  • Euro rises on Mario Draghi's comments.
  • Inflation remains low despite euro zone growth.
ECB to keep interest rates unchanged: Draghi

The euro saw a sharp surge as Mario Draghi spoke on Thursday afternoon, with the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) discussing inflation expectations and the potential end of its asset-purchase program.

Draghi said the central bank saw signs of "unquestionable improvement" in euro zone growth and pointed to plans for policymakers to begin discussing possible changes to its quantitative easing (QE) program in the fall.

He did not set a set a time frame for the tightening of the bank's ultra-loose monetary policy, but said that policymakers were unanimously agreed on opening talks after the summer recess.

"We were unanimous in setting no precise date for when to discuss changes in the future," Draghi told a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany. "We simply said that our discussions should take place in the autumn."

The euro jumped to near-14-month-highs of $1.1571 against the dollar on Draghi's comments, recovering losses seen in the immediate wake of the ECB's policy decision earlier Thursday.

The single currency initially fell to $1.1479 against the greenback after the ECB unanimously voted to hold interest rates at 0.00 percent and said that it remains poised to step in and increase the "size and/or duration" of its stimulus purchase, should the economic outlook take a downturn.

ECB's Draghi: Repricing of exchange rate has received some attention

Though Draghi said that the central bank did not yet have a tightening agenda in mind, he said that by September it would have the necessary information needed to start discussions.

This information is set to include inflation data, which Draghi said remains well below its target of below but close to 2 percent.

"Inflation is not where we want to it be or where it should be," Draghi noted.

He added that the ECB's target remains justified and it is "confident" that inflation will get there. However, he added that it was likely to remain around current levels for the coming months.