ECB keeps ultra-easy policy stance
FRANKFURT • The European Central Bank (ECB) left its ultra-easy policy stance firmly in place yesterday as inflation continues to undershoot its target into the fifth straight year, even as economic growth is on its best run since the global financial crisis.
The main refinancing rate remained at zero per cent, the rate on the marginal lending facility at 0.25 per cent, and the deposit rate at -0.4 per cent. It also left untouched plans to buy €60 billion (S$91.3 billion) of corporate and government bonds per month until December.
ECB president Mario Draghi said the cyclical recovery of the euro area economy is increasingly solid and that downside risks have diminished.
Deutsche Bank posts muted gains
ZURICH • Deutsche Bank's muted gains in a particularly strong period for Wall Street trading is raising doubts about how quickly chief executive officer John Cryan can recover ground lost to rivals.
Europe's largest investment bank yesterday reported an 11 per cent rise in revenue from trading bonds and currencies in the first quarter. That is less than half the 24 per cent jump in the combined fixed-income revenue at the five biggest United States investment banks.
The results suggest the bank has yet to fully win back the trust of clients.
Asian demand for European oil soars
LONDON/SINGAPORE • Opec production cuts have created record Asian demand for European oil and made China the second-biggest consumer of North Sea crude as flows from its usual Middle East suppliers dip.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), Russia and other non-Opec producers agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of this year to lift prices and cut global inventories.
Thomson Reuters Eikon data shows China imported almost 38 million barrels of North Sea crude from the start of the year until late this month. It is now second to Britain, the biggest consumer of North Sea crude, which had bought 49.7 million barrels by late April.