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European shares erase gains, euro off session low as Draghi signals risks

European shares
European shares Copyright RALPH ORLOWSKI(Reuters)
Copyright RALPH ORLOWSKI(Reuters)
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European shares erase gains, euro off session low as Draghi signals risks


Europe's shares markets erased earlier gains and the euro rose off session lows after ECB President Mario Draghi said economic momentum was weakening but downplayed deploying LTRO funding.

Money markets also trimmed expectations of a European Central Bank interest rate rise this year.

A pan-European equity index <.STOXXE> was up only 0.1 percent by 1415 GMT while banking stocks fell <.SX7E> more than one percent as Draghi spoke.

Draghi said money market which are pricing the first rate rise in 2020, had understood the ECB's reaction function. Markets now price a 38 percent chance of a rate hike in 2019 as opposed to 45 percent earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the single currency bounced off session lows but it remained 0.2 percent down on the day at $1.1354. Against the pound it traded around flat, also recovering from an earlier low of 86.830 pence

"Draghi's cautious comments prompted the initial move lower in the euro but given that he isn't being overly bearish, there is some short-covering at these levels," said Morten Helt, senior FX strategist at Danske Bank.

Southern European bond yields meanwhile, came off the day's lows after the ECB chief said no decision was taken on reintroducing cheap loans to banks under the long term refinancing operation (LTRO).

Italy's two-year bond yield was trading at 0.30 percent after the comment, 2 basis points higher than the day's lows though still down 5 bps on the day.

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