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Draghi reform plea adds to policy debate

Friday, March 18, 2016 - 01:37

Euro zone sentiment still shaky despite the ECB's latest dramatic easing moves as Mario Draghi again warns that monetary policy alone can't jump-start the economy - and Moody's says investors shouldn't take the euro zone's credit ratings for granted. David Pollard reports.

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It's been a consistent message - the ECB ready, Mario Draghi's repeatedly said, to do what it takes. Though that pledge was muddied when he told last week's ECB meeting he didn't expect further rate cuts. One mantra that remains unchanged, though: the need for reform. The ECB chief again pleading with governments to address "basic structural weaknesses" of the euro zone. That same issue highlighted by Moody's - as the ratings agency warned of longer-term risks. Like low inflation - and a financial crisis legacy of high debt and bad loans. SOUNDBITE (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "The next time there's a downturn, that's going to leave the European economy exposed and credit ratings agencies, I would suggest, should get ahead of the curve this time and start downgrading before we see some major problems." Economists also point to the single european currency. Despite significant action from the ECB, it spiked upwards after the last two ECB meetings where policy easing should have pushed it down. SOUNDBITE (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "That tells us a lot. I think it tells us that monetary policy is coming towards the end of effectiveness - and that really governments need to step in." SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "One of the biggest risks, I think, is this perception that monetary policy isn't perhaps able to stimulate growth and that there is some breakdown in the mechanism between monetary policy settings and the transmission through to the real economies." Even so, the ECB could cut rates again, according to reported comments from ECB chief economist, Peter Praet. That potentially another mixed signal for markets to digest.

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Draghi reform plea adds to policy debate

Friday, March 18, 2016 - 01:37