Dollar and stocks drop as Trump hits China with tariffs


The ECB said the monthly pace of its net asset purchases would be halved to 15 billion euros from September until the end of December 2018, at which point purchases would end.

The U.S. dollar edged lower against the Japanese yen on Friday, as President Donald Trump announced hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports and Beijing threatened to respond in kind, raising tensions between the world's two largest economies.

The biggest complication could be a murky economic outlook, muddied by the developing trade war, a populist challenge from Italy's new government and softening export demand.

The euro was 0.35 percent higher at $1.1608.

Ahead of next week's Bank of England (BoE) policy meeting the Pound Sterling to Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate looks vulnerable to downside pressure, though.

The ECB's bond buys - now set at €30 billion ($35 billion) a month - and ultra-low interest rates are created to stoke growth in the 19-nation single currency area and power inflation to the bank's target of just below 2 percent.

In early trading, the dollar rose above ¥110.60, helped by a tumble of the euro against the greenback after the European Central Bank decided Thursday to keep policy interest rates unchanged at least until the summer of 2019, traders said.

Draghi said there would be no prospect of an increase in the ECB's key lending rate - now 0.0% - until next summer at the earliest.

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This assumption about the increase in rates being built into the longer-term US Treasury notes is supported by the fact that the yield on the longer issue actually declined by more than the short-term end declined, resulting in a term structure of interest rates that became even flatter.

An official of a bank-linked securities firm said market players made their positions neutral in late trading as the United States is expected to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods as early as later on Friday.

"It remains part of the toolbox", he said. Tokyo ended 0.5 percent higher and Sydney added more than one percent.

While the Fed and the ECB provided much of the week's central bank fireworks, the Bank of Japan is expected to produce no surprises at the end of a two-day policy meeting today.

Dean Turner, UK economist at UBS Wealth Management, said: "Today's meeting came at a challenging time for the European Central Bank, considering the political turbulence in Italy and the string of soft data coming out of the eurozone in recent months".

Just hours before the ECB's announcement, the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the second time in 2018, bringing into sharp focus the fact that the flow of easy money in Europe and America over the past decade is gradually ending.

US crude fell 0.3 percent to $66.44 per barrel and Brent was last at $75.95, down 1.03 percent on the day.