Draghi's final meeting as President is on Thursday

Draghi's final meeting as President is on Thursday

Mario Draghi leaves the ECB with a solid legacy but with the economy and inflation both at disappointing levels.

Few would blame the central bank or its leader for poor growth; he's pulled on every lever to boost output and invented a few new tools along the way.

That will make Thursday's swan song bittersweet.

As for the meeting itself, expectations are nil. Draghi announced a new set of measures last month that divided the central bank and led to the resignation of Governing Council member Sabine Lautenschlaeger, along with some heavy criticism from the old guard.

The economy remains weak and today's reading on consumer confidence was the weakest since January 2018. Manufacturing is struggling and governments continue to refuse to provide stimulus.

For now, the ECB will wait and hope that its program bears fruit. Or more accurately, it will pray that trade war subsides and that global growth picks up.

Christine Lagarde will take over in November and she will like have a number of months to analyze and reflect before shifting any positions. Undoubtedly, she will use the time to badger governments to do more on the fiscal side.

ING writes:

Market expectations of the ECB being on hold for the foreseeable future are justified. Divided views on the latest policy decisions, the imminent management change, and the lag between the September measures and their impact on the economy all support this view. Yet, we see no reason in recent developments for investors to question their dim economic view.

One small recent positive is that the US economic deterioration appears to have stopped and the trade war is on a ceasefire; but the situation not getting worse isn't the same as the situation improving.

As for the market, if anything we could see some modest euro strength if Draghi sounds an optimistic note in his final meeting. Everyone likes to put on a bit of positive spin at the end but I'm not sure the market will buy what he's selling this time.

The next euro move will come when Lagarde lays out her vision.

As usual, the rate decision is at 1145 GMT and the press conference is at 1230 GMT.