Morning briefing: TPP signed in Chile / ECB makes its interest rate decision / Canada and Thailand get new banknotes

By Billy

Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

TPP signed — without the US

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) will be signed in Santiago de Chile today.

Ministers from 11 participating countries — without the US — are scheduled to gather to sign the deal, paving the way for it to take effect in early 2019.

TPP was designed in part to counter China’s rising dominance of the Pacific but US president Donald Trump withdrew from the deal last year, saying it would encourage companies to ship jobs to lower-wage countries.

The widespread assumption was that the TPP would collapse without the US, but Japan and Australia kept it alive.

Trump said yesterday that he would reconsider the trade deal if the US could strike a “substantially better” agreement — but that offer appears to have come too late.

ECB set to hold interest rates

The European Central Bank’s (ECB) monetary policymakers meet today, with more hawkish members expected to press for tweaks to 2018 policy.

No policy changes are expected however, but investors will be looking for any changes to the Bank’s official guidance to give clues about the timing and speed of its exit from unprecedented bond purchases later this year.

ECB President Mario Draghi’s news conference will start at 1:30pm London time as usual. You can watch live here.

Meanwhile, Germany is hesitating about nominating Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann as Mario Draghi’s successor — worried that France and Italy will demand a high political price.

Women and royalty feature on new Canadian and Thai banknotes

Both Canada and Thailand are unveiling new banknotes today.

In Canada the revamped ten Canadian dollar bill will feature the civil-rights activist Viola Desmond – making her one of the few women to have graced a Canadian banknote.

The new note also marks the first of a larger roll-out of new, refreshed notes to be introduced throughout the year.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s overhauling all of its notes to picture King Maha Vajiralongkorn, replacing his late father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The first batch of the new notes featuring King Maha Vajiralongkorn in air force uniform will be in circulation from 6 April.