The ECB left key interest rates unchanged

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He told a news conference Thursday that trade disputes should be resolved in multi-lateral negotiations, such as in the World Trade Organization.

Draghi said the immediate economic impact of the tariffs would be small.

He added: "This approach is consistent with above trend economic growth, a continued reduction in the output gap and gradual upward pressure on inflation towards target".

Euro zone government bond yields fell on Wednesday on concerns that planned USA import tariffs including on goods from Europe could impede the European Central Bank's plan to withdraw post-crisis monetary stimulus.

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While Thursday's European Central Bank (ECB) policy decision has the biggest potential to influence the Pound to Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate outlook this week, Friday's United Kingdom and Eurozone data could also affect trade if it surprises. However, the European Central Bank maintained its position that purchases would carry on until the end of September, "or beyond, if necessary".

As expected, the European Central Bank held its key interest rates at record lows, but it signalled greater confidence in the eurozone economy and its own chances of hitting its elusive inflation goal by dropping talk of boosting its mass bond-buying programme.

Provided all goes well - and that is not guaranteed - the bond-buying is expected to end sometime late this year, but even then, interest rates won't likely rise until well into 2019, going by the ECB's own guidance. But in its statement it omitted an earlier promise that it could increase its bond-purchase stimulus in size or duration if the economic outlook worsens. The bloc's economic growth did not gain positive momentum in the fourth quarter of 2017 either as final readings indicated yesterday.

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank has confirmed that net asset purchases are projected to continue at the current monthly rate of 30 billion Euro by the end of September 2018 or after that date, if necessary, and each time the Governing Council does not see a sustained correction of the inflation trend in line with its inflation target. Euro bulls capitulated and by mid afternoon in Europe on Thursday, the single currency was down 0.62% versus the dollar to $1.2334.

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The ECB Governing Council meets on Thursday in Frankfurt, Germany, announcing its policy decision at 1245 GMT.

The change in question was regard the bank's easing bias, as it dropped its pledge to extend its QE programme if it felt the Eurozone was underperforming. But it hinted that it was considering how to end its stimulus program, under which it has purchased bonds worth over €2 trillion ($2.5 trillion).

"A number of policymakers on the governing council favour a sudden stop to the EUR30 billion monthly asset purchase program in the aftermath of that date, while some favour a change to the wording with respect to downside risks to the economy", says CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson. "Governor Kuroda made comments earlier this week that an exit from current highly stimulatory policy settings was very unlikely in the fiscal year starting in April, and market consensus has shifted to be in line with this".

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