ECB Pushes Back Against Bets on Smaller Rate Hikes

The European Central Bank pushed back on Thursday against market bets that it would slow the pace of its interest rate hikes given recent falls in inflation and easing pressure to keep up with policy moves by other central banks, Reuters reported. Traders had recently trimmed their expectations for how much the ECB would raise borrowing costs, comforted by data showing lower inflation in both the euro zone and the United States and related talk of smaller hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve. But ECB President Christine Lagarde and fellow policymaker Klaas Knot said investors were underestimating the ECB's determination to bring inflation in the 20-nation euro zone back to its 2% target, from 9.2% last month. "I would invite them to revise their positions," Lagarde said during a panel conversation in Davos, Switzerland. "I think they would be well advised doing so." Markets had been expecting the ECB's 2% deposit rate to reach around 3.2% by the summer, a big downgrade from levels around 3.5% priced in at the turn of the year. Read more.