Firstly, what is quantitative easing? Basically, the ECB will be pumping 60 billion Euros per month into the Eurozone to try to 'jump start' the Euro economy and help prevent is from entering a period of sustained period of deflation. Currently the Eurozone is in deflationary conditions at -0.2% (January 2015) - whereas the ECB's stated target is 2% inflation.
Economists are debating long and hard as to the potential effectiveness, or not, of QE in the Eurozone. Interests are already at an all-time low. The move has seen a further dip in the value of the Euro. Some argue that it is a lack of investment that is holding back Euroland - not a lack of money.
Global equities saw a strong short-term boost as a result of the news - as investors saw this is a positive move to get the Eurozone economy back on track which, as such a large and important market, helps all global economies. This news is always welcomed, although the markets were anticipating the ECB 'doing something' and so much of the ECBs action was already priced in to valuations. Even so, it should be good news for equity investors that the ECB look like being prepared to do, in their own words, "whatever it takes" to make a success of the Eurozone economy.
The value of the Euro has also, of course, dipped on the news. Meaning Euro investments are cheaper. Basically, you get more Euro for your pound. Good news also perhaps for doctors taking Euro holidays!
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