Go big

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Tom Westbrook

The Bank of Canada and the Reserve Bank of Australia went large this week – and their currencies fell. Now the euro holds its breath.

With inflation at record levels and the cut in Russian gas supply pushing power prices sky high, the case is strong for the European Central Bank to deliver its biggest ever rate hike.

A slim majority of economists expect it. Market pricing leans toward it, with an implied probability of about 60% that a 75 basis point hike is delivered later today.

Growth concerns are the other side of the coin. However, a “mere” 50 basis points is likely to punish the euro – not ideal either.

The ECB announces its policy decision at 1215 GMT, followed by President Christine Lagarde’s news conference at 1245 GMT.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is up later in the day, with a final chance to frame the his message to markets before Fed’s policy meeting later in September. Markets price an 80% chance the Fed goes large with a 75 bp hike on Sept. 21.

Stocks meandered and the dollar kept to the high ground in Asia, with the yen at a 24-year low and the euro just below parity.

A silver lining, if there is one, is oil’s retreat to pre-invasion levels at just below $90/barrel.