European Stocks Higher; Unscheduled ECB Meeting Boosts Sentiment
European stock markets traded higher Wednesday, boosted by the announcement of an unscheduled European Central Bank get together ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting which is expected to result in aggressive tightening to curb rampant inflation.
The ECB confirmed earlier in the session that it is to hold an unscheduled council meeting later Wednesday to discuss recent volatility.
Bitcoin tumbles to new 18-month low
LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin fell on Wednesday to a new 18-month low, dragging down smaller tokens with it, as the recent tumble in crypto markets showed no sign of letting up.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency fell as much as 6.3% to $20,715.69, its lowest since December 2020.
Bitcoin has lost around 28% since Friday and more than half of its value this year. Since its record high of $69,000 in November, it has slumped around 70%.
The token has tumbled after U.S. crypto lender Celsius this week froze withdrawals and transfers between accounts, stoking fears of wider fall-out in digital asset market.
Euro jumps on unscheduled ECB meeting, dollar awaits Fed move
The euro jumped after the ECB’s governing council said it would hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the recent sell-off in government bond markets, briefly distracting traders ahead of a much-watched Fed meeting.
The European common currency rose as much as 0.7% against the dollar to $1.04945, following the announcement of the meeting, which comes after the spread between the yields of Germany and more indebted southern nations, particularly Italy, soared to its highest in over two years.
ECB to discuss market rout in unscheduled meeting
The European Central Bank’s policy-setting Governing Council will hold a rare, unscheduled meeting on Wednesday to discuss the turmoil in bond markets, underscoring official concern around a blowout in borrowing costs for some euro zone nations.
Bond yields have risen sharply since the ECB promised a series of rate hikes last Thursday and the spread between the yields of German bonds and those of more indebted southern nations, particularly Italy, soared to its highest in over two years.
“The Governing Council will have an ad-hoc meeting on Wednesday to discuss current market conditions,” an ECB spokesperson said.
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