Big News from Europe-Outlook Good for Rates & Pricing

Early action in Europe from the European Central Bank was good for bonds, which makes it good for pricing. The big news comes from Europe, as the ECB (European Central Bank) opted to keep its stimulus settings unchanged for now, and even left the door open for increasing bond purchases. There was concern heading into this meeting that the ECB might formally signal its intent to taper back the economic stimulus, which would have been bad for pricing. Instead, the ECB statement made it clear that it was ready to increase the program in size or duration if the outlook becomes less favorable.  Fed Deputy Chairman Stanley Fischer has come out and said he will step down in October, adding to uncertainty about leadership at the central bank as the end of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s term approaches.  Not sure yet how this will affect the outlook of a Fed rate increase this year, but it will have no effect on the September’s Fed meeting.  So, the mid-to-longer term outlook remains good for rates and pricing, as it has for quite a while now.

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