ECB Soothes Nervous Markets
Asian stocks rose on Friday after a hint of more monetary easing by the European Central Bank and a bounce in crude oil from 12-year lows helped soothe skittish markets. The ECB managed to contain some of the pessimism for the time being after ECB President Mario Draghi hinted strongly on Thursday that more easing could be coming within months. Fading growth and inflation prospects will force the central bank to review its policy stance in March, Draghi said. The European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision indicating injection of fresh stimulus into the eurozone by March may provide relief to volatile equity markets globally. Also US crude oil extended a rally made overnight after data showed stockpiles at some US sites did not grow as much as forecast, providing participants in the battered market with an incentive to cover short positions.