AL stock markets rallied yesterday as European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi – earning his moniker of “Super Mario” – announced a quantitative easing programme that beat most people’s expectations.
Draghi announced a programme of €60bn (£45bn) worth of asset purchases a month – most of which will be government bonds.
The programme, which is set to begin in March, will last until at least September 2016 giving it an initial total value of €1.1 trillion.
Nearly all markets closed up. Even the Athens headline stock index finished up 1.14 per cent ahead of Sunday’s general election. While Syriza are expected to win, it is unclear whether they will back track on apparently conflicted election promises.
The German Dax gained 1.32 per cent and the French Cac40 finished the day 1.52 per cent higher.
The euro immediately weakened, losing 2.39 per cent of its value against the dollar.
Switzerland’s central bank abandoned its cap on the franc against the euro last week in anticipation of dramatic action from the ECB.
The ECB also said that it would maintain interest rates at 0.05 per cent, where they have been since September 2014. The bank is trying to push Eurozone annual inflation back up to its target of just below two percent.