ECB Keeps Interest Rates and Stimulus Unchanged; Final N.Y. Primary Results

Today the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to keep interest rates and stimulus plans unchanged during its April policy meeting after delivering a combination of bold measures at its last policy meeting in March.

ECB President Mario Draghi said in a statement that the ECB’s overnight deposit rate wouldn’t be pushed further into negative territory following the ECB’s decision last month to cut it further to negative- 0.4 percent in March from -0.3 percent, lower its benchmark rate to zero from 0.05 percent, and expand their monthly asset purchase programme to €80 billion, from the previous amount of €60 billion.

European equities have been dropping following the outcome of the ECB’s policy meeting.

Inflation remains sluggish inside the 19 member euro area although it improved slightly in March.

According to Eurostat, euro area annual HICP inflation in March 2016 was 0.0 percent, compared with -0.2 percent in February.

In the ECB’s statement, Draghi noted that inflation could continue to decline further in the future given the volatility with crude oil prices.

“Looking ahead, on the basis of current futures prices for energy, inflation rates could turn negative again in the coming months before picking up in the second half of 2016” Draghi said in a statement.

“Thereafter, supported by our monetary policy measures and the expected economic recovery, inflation rates should recover further in 2017 and 2018” Draghi continued.

Draghi pointed out that negative rates haven’t taken a toll on the balance sheet of banks.

“Negative rates have not led to a decline in banks’ interest revenues so far” Draghi said.

Draghi said the risks to the euro area growth outlook still remain “tilted to the downside.”

Final N.Y. U.S. Primary Election Results

Trump won in New York and gained 89 delegates while John Kasich picked up 4 delegates.

Overall Trump has 845 delegates, Cruz has 559, and Kasich has 148.

There are 1,237 delegates needed for Republican nomination.

Clinton won in New York and captured 139 more delegates while Sanders gained 106 delegates.

In terms of pledged delegates, Clinton has 1,428 total delegates compared to Sanders’ 1,151.

Including Super delegates, Clinton has a larger lead with 1,930 delegates compared to Sanders’ 1,189

There are 2,383 delegates needed for Democratic nomination.

On April 26th, five northeastern U.S. states will hold primaries.

In the two states with the highest number of delegates, Pennsylvania (189) and Maryland (95), Clinton is ahead in polls on the Democratic side.

The upcoming primaries on the 26th of April are closed primaries meaning independents can’t be included which is less favorable for Sanders who has benefitted in the past from independents.





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