The ECB Announces a Rate Hike Plan For The Euro Zone

Bond yields across southern Europe jumped on Thursday after the European Central Bank signalled a string of interest rate hikes starting in July to tame record-high inflation.

European stocks fell on confirmation that the ECB would end its Asset Purchase Programme, its main stimulus tool since the euro zone debt crisis.

Policymakers also flagged a 25 bps move in July and said they may move again in September, possibly by a bigger margin.

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Italy's 10-year bond yield rose as much as 24 bps on the day and hit its highest level since 2018 at 3.715%

Spanish, Portuguese and Greek yields rose 10-16 bps each.

Spanish, Portuguese and Greek yields rose 10-16 bps each.

In volatile trading, the euro initially rose but later fell sharply as traders struggled to decide whether the ECB was as hawkish as expected and as the dollar enjoyed a broad rebound.

Analysts for the most part saw the statement as the ECB's attempt to catch up with other major central banks, which are already well along the rate-hike path.

Others predicted the ECB would be unable to move aggressively given the headwinds facing economic growth and the fallout from the war in Ukraine.