Euro, German bund yields hit fresh highs on German coalition progress

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Sidelining his critics, ECB President Mario Draghi stuck to his pledge last month to keep money pouring into the euro zone economy for as long as needed, despite improved growth and inflation prospects. It's up another 0.8 percent at $1.2113, just shy of its earlier high of $1.2138, its highest level since the end of 2014.

A change in policy message would likely be taken by investors as a sign that rate-setters may begin to wind down their 2.55 trillion euros bond-buying programme. The dollar also slumped due to the lackluster factory inflation data which were also reported earlier.

Minutes of the European Central Bank's December policy vote show that favourable data on the economy had led policymakers to drop some their references to the region's recovery and instead focus more on what they now viewed as a "continued robust and increasingly self sustaining economic expansion".

The Bank of France raised its fourth-quarter growth forecast to 0.6% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-of-france-hikes-4th-quarter-growth-forecast-2018-01-11) quarter-on-quarter from a previous forecast of 0.5%.

MSCI's broadest gauge of the world's stock markets also hit a record high on Thursday, having risen in seven of the eight business days so far this year for a total increase of 3.3 per cent.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index logged a record close by rising 0.2% to 7,762.94. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 37 cents to $63.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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The euro zoomed up to $1.2037 from $1.1949 late Wednesday in NY.

The end of a turbulent week for bond markets also saw U.S. Treasury yields extending Thursday's pullback after China disputed a media report that government officials had recommended it slow or halt its purchases of U.S. bonds.

Government bonds across the Eurozone were sold off after the release of the minutes, with French and German 10-year yields hitting their highest points since July and August respectively.

In the other precious metals, the spot silver price rose $0.12 to $17.095-17.115 per oz. Japan's Nikkei dipped 0.1%. Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.3731, up 0.03 percent. The increase was the biggest single-day percentage gain against eh stronger dollar for over two-month.

The euro jumped to its highest level against the dollar since early 2015 on Friday after German lawmakers agreed on a coalition, more than three months after the country's general election. Despite this pullback, both WTI and Brent are still hovering near multi-year highs, amid declining United States crude inventories, the extremely cold weather observed in the USA recently, and the OPEC-led supply curbs.

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