The main last week event was the ECB's monetary policy meeting results announcement. There was only one question on the agenda - what the amount of incentives would be? During the week there were various rumors - the numbers ranged from 500 billion euro to $ 1 trillion euro. Those traders who expected the maximum level turned out to be right.
The Eurozone monetary regulator decided to purchase assets in the amount of 60 billion euro starting with this year March. Thus, the ECB balance will be increased by 1.08 trillion euro till September 1, 2016. Financial markets have reacted to the news as it was forecasted: the euro, the pound and the Japanese yen came under a sales wave. Stock markets, on the contrary, reacted positively to the QE introduction by the Eurozone monetary authorities.
Last week till its decline the pound was supported by the unexpectedly strong data and finally grew. The UK retail sales rose up by 0.4% m / m in December 2014 while analysts forecasted a decline by 0.6%. The renewed wages growth has a positive impact on consumer sentiment and spending that helps to offset the negative impact on the economy from the euro zone part which is experiencing deflation and growth slowdown.