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European markets higher ahead of ECB

The German DAX 30 (+0.10%), the French CAC 40 (+0.44%), the Spanish IBEX 35 (+0.51%) and the British FTSE 100 (+0.42%) are edging higher ahead of the ECB, while the Italian FTSE MIB trades flat. Analysts see some chance of a rate cut, but it's mostly expected to stay unchanged. UK Investors were now informed that the BoE kept things unchanged, surprising some more dovish traders. Europe cheered the improving yields on the debt market.

The 10-year Letras narrowed its yields, from 5.202% to 4.917%, in today's €2.435B bond auction. Spain also sold €569M of 3-year debt (from 2.713% to 2.632%) and €2.026B of 5-year debt (from 4.123% to 3.572%). France sold €7B of 10-year debt at 2.1% yield, lower than the previous auction (2.3%).

German factory orders dropped -1.9% (MoM) in January, instead of rising -0.5% as expected. The annualized figure fell further, from -1.9% to -2.5%, instead of improving to 1.6% as predicted.
Futures for the American S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones 30 are signaling a higher opening by 0.04%-0.11% ahead of the US trade balance, jobless claims and nonfarm productivity.

Forex: EUR/GBP hits 10-day high as BoE stays on hold

The pound strengthened across the board, with GBP/JPY reaching a fresh 10-day high after the Bank of England decided to keep its interest rate and the asset buying program unchanged at £375 billion. Most economists had expected the bank to stay on hold, but acknowledged that a boost to the size of the asset-buying program was a possibility.
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