European Economic News Preview: ECB, BoE Policy Announcements Due

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England are set to leave interest rates unchanged on Thursday after their peer U.S. Federal Reserve left its interest rates unchanged for the third straight meeting a day earlier.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve kept the target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25 to 5.50 percent but hinted at three rate cuts in 2024.

The market focus is now shifted to the guidance on future rate path. Both the ECB and BoE are expected to lower their rates by the middle of next year.

The monetary policy summary and the minutes from the BoE are due at 7.00 AM ET.

The UK central bank, led by Governor Andrew Bailey, is likely to hold the benchmark rate at a 15-year high of 5.25 percent for third consecutive meeting and also retain its hawkish bias, defying calls for premature rate cuts.

The ECB Governing Council, headed by President Christine Lagarde, is set to announce its decision at 8.15 am ET.

The main refinancing rate, or refi, is likely to be retained at 4.50 percent, the deposit facility rate at a record high 4.00 percent and the lending rate at 4.75 percent.

ECB President Christine Lagarde and Vice-President Luis de Guindos will explain the monetary policy decisions and answer questions from journalists in Frankfurt at 8.45 am ET.

Macroeconomic projections from the ECB are due at 8.45 AM ET.

Monetary policy announcements are also due from the Swiss National Bank and Norges Bank.

At the quarterly meeting, the Swiss National Bank is widely forecast to keep its benchmark rate at 1.75 percent. The bank releases the monetary policy assessment at 3.30 am ET.

Half an hour later, Norway’s central bank announces its policy decision. As hinted at the November meeting, Norges Bank is likely to adopt a final quarter point rate hike, taking the policy rate to 4.50 percent.

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