ECB officials are unlikely to make any change in policy on Thursday. And, as Ciara Lee reports, Donald Trump is due to take office.
Donald Trump's Friday inauguration is expected to dominate headlines this week. And the impact of his leadership will be on the minds of policymakers in Europe. Speaking publicly and behind the scenes, officials say any U.S. shift towards protectionism could hurt the already fragile euro zone economy. ECB officials meeting on Thursday are unlikely to make any change. But a rebound in prices in December is reviving calls for the ECB to taper its bond purchases, particularly in Germany, where many feel low rates are eating into their savings. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, SAYING: "I really do wish that Mario Draghi would say unequivocally and flatly that the European Central Bank is running out of sovereign bonds to purchase. It can purchase as many corporate bonds as it wishes. But I don't think that makes an enormous amount of difference in terms of the macro picture. Away from that next week of course we've got Davos, and global leaders are under pressure particularly in the wake of Trump victory in the U.S. election and the Brexit vote." British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to speak on Tuesday, setting out her approach to Brexit. If she indicates away from a soft Brexit, sterling will probably fall further. Data from the U.S will help the Fed decide whether to follow December's rate increase with another. Trump gave little new policy information at a press conference last week. But his protectionist statements have kept many investors from adding to risk-on positions. Fourth quarter results season is underway. Overall earnings at S&P 500 companies are expected to have risen 5.7 percent from a year ago.