Despite a raft of data releases out on Thursday including HPI (Housing Price Index) m/m for the UK (1.1%), revised eurozone GDP (0.6%) and unemployment claims for the US (298,000), it was clear to see that the star of the day was ECB (European Central Bank) President Mario Draghi, or more accurately, the euro.
The single currency gained ground across the board against all its counterparts, thanks to the lack of information from the ECB regarding the tapering of the QE (quantitative easing) programme which has been in place since 2009.
Against the pound, the euro was up 0.71% at its's day high by 1400 BST to 0.9200, but has since fallen back to 0.9183 by the London close. EUR/USD traded 0.9% higher on the day to 1.2024.
Market participants were hoping that some details would be given on the tapering of the bond buying programme, which is due to continue till December 2017.
"Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the Governing Council confirms that the net asset purchases, at the current monthly pace of 60 billion, are intended to run until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary," Draghi said, giving observers the only clue to ECB rationale going forward.
He added, "if the outlook becomes less favourable, or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, the Governing Council stands ready to increase the programme in terms of size and/or duration."
Concerning recent euro strength he said, "At the same time, the recent volatility in the exchange rate
represents a source of uncertainty which requires monitoring with regard to its possible implications for the medium-term outlook for price stability."
With regards to interest rates, the ECB President mentioned that the Governing Council expected them to remain at current levels "for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of our net asset purchases."
"There was no clear sign of tapering, so there is a bit of relief in bond markets," said ABN AMRO senior fixed income strategist Kim Liu. "Draghi stressed the bulk of decisions will be made in October."
The greenback was on the backfoot again in Thursday trading, with the dollar
index down 0.73% to 91.616, marking its fourth day of straight losses, and the lowest level this month so far.
Meanwhile, in the UK brexit minister David Davis called on parliament to back legislation to sever Britain's political, financial and legal ties with the EU, saying that opposing the bill would lead to chaos.
On the UK housing front, prices were up 2.6% in the three months to August, higher than in the same three months last year. This helped kickstart cable moves higher in the morning but, with the weaker USD, not much help was needed. By the London close, the pair was trading 0.38% higher on the day to 1.3094.
USD/JPY continued to trade lower on the day to 108.19, down 0.95% as safe haven trades slowed and the weak USD became the driver.
The Canadian dollar continued its's advance against the US dollar with USD/CAD down 0.71% to 1.2139 as traders continued to show confidence in the possibility of further rate hikes this year.
"The upbeat view on growth point to more tightening than we previously expected over the next year," Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in a research note.