Euro jumps after European Central Bank minutes; stocks gain with energy

Global Markets Stocks resume ascent on earnings hopes euro gets lift from ECB

Euro jumps after European Central Bank minutes; stocks gain with energy

Robust U.S. inflation data had put some upward pressure on euro zone bond yields, but that proved fleeting in the wake of Weidmann's remarks. The euro was up 0.77 per cent to US$1.2037, on pace for its biggest single-day percentage gain against the greenback in about two months.

The ECB has pledged to continue its bond purchase programme at least until September and investors expect any rate increase to take place next year. The dollar weakened more broadly after US data showed a rise in jobless claims and a decrease in producer prices.

According to the minutes of the European Central Bank governing council's last policy meeting, "the language pertaining to various dimensions of the monetary policy stance and forward guidance could be revisited early in the coming year".

The euro's overnight index swap rates have risen sharply this week as traders price in higher chance of a rate hike early next year.

The Bank of France raised its fourth-quarter growth forecast to 0.6% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-of-france-hikes-4th-quarter-growth-forecast-2018-01-11) quarter-on-quarter from a previous forecast of 0.5%.

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EUR/USD is likely to find support at 1.1913 levels and now trading at 1.2036 levels. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 37 cents to $63.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index logged a record close by rising 0.2% to 7,762.94.

A robust USA inflation report boosted Treasury yields. Japan's Nikkei, however, dropped for a third day, shedding 0.2 per cent for the day and 0.3 per cent for the week.

In the US bond market, benchmark 10-year notes last fell 3/32 in price to yield 2.5605 percent, from 2.549 percent late on Wednesday.

The central bank left monetary policy unchanged at the mid-December meeting, but previously announced it would slow down its monthly purchases of bonds from €60bn to €30bn - an acknowledgement that less stimulus was needed.

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The news of progress towards a German coalition pushed the euro to a three-year high.

Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,322.74 an ounce by 1:37 p.m. EST (1837 GMT) after touching $1,326.56 on Wednesday, the highest since September 15.

Expansive monetary policy by central banks in major economies is also credited for the recent bouoyance in share prices that has sent major indexes to new highs.

Gold contracts for February in the USA increased by 0.2 percent to stand at $1,322.50 an ounce.

Brent crude futures settled 6 cents higher at United States dollars 69.26 a barrel on Thursday, after hitting USD 70.05 a barrel during the session, its highest level since November 2014.

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The SPD are considered heavily pro-Europe, with leader Martin Schulz a year ago arguing for closer ties and calling for a "United States of Europe".

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