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ECB holds key rates steady, central refi rate at zero percent

ECB holds key rates steady, central refi rate at zero percent

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank held its key interest rates steady at its policy meeting on Thursday, as it monitors the effects of a raft of new easing measures six weeks ago.

The ECB’s governing council voted, as expected, to keep the benchmark “refi” refinancing rate at its current all-time low of zero percent, after cutting it to that level in March, an ECB spokesman said.

At the same time, the ECB also held the rate on its marginal lending facility unchanged at 0.25 percent and the rate on the deposit facility steady at minus 0.40 percent.

At its previous meeting on March 10, the ECB had announced a new raft of policy moves aimed at pushing chronically weak inflation in the euro area back up to economically healthier levels.

These included cutting interest rates, beefing up its controversial asset purchase programme known as quantitative easing and making vast amounts of cheap loans available to banks.

“Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, we have started to expand our monthly purchases under the asset purchase programme to 80 billion euros,” ($90 billion), an ECB spokeswoman said.

“The focus is now on the implementation of the additional non-standard measures decided on March 10,” she added.

ECB president Mario Draghi was scheduled to comment on the reasoning behind the latest monetary policy decisions at a news conference later.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016

Courtesy : BRecorder



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