Euro rate hike unlikely for at least two years

AUSTRIAN central bank chief Ewald Nowotny said this weekend that the European Central Bank (ECB) is unlikely to raise interest rates until at least 2016, as the policy of major central banks diverges.

Nowotny’s comments follow the ECB’s easing, which reduced the Eurozone deposit rate to a negative level for the first time. Analysts have suggested the bank may turn to quantitative easing if the bloc’s inflation outlook does not improve.

Barclays researchers suggest that the latest hawkish turn from the Bank of England, in which several policymakers suggested that rates may rise this year, marks a change of direction from many other major central banks.

“In contrast to this outlook for the Fed and Bank of England, We see the ECB, Bank of Japan and the People’s Bank of China keeping an easing bias. After years during which core central bank polices seemed to vary only in the degree of easing, such a divergence in the direction of core central bank policies would be a new phenomenon for markets,” said Christian Keller of Barclays.