ECB Leaves Rates Unchanged, Plans To Leave Them At Present Or Lower Levels For 'extended Period'

By William L. Watts Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The European Central Bank offered no surprises Thursday as it left interest rates unchanged. The Governing Council left the main refinancing rate at 0%, while the rate on deposits parked overnight at the bank remains at minus 0.4%. The rate on the bank's marginal lending facility remains at 0.25%. In a statement, the bank repeated that it expects rates to remain "at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon" of its bond-buying program, which is scheduled to run through at least December. The ECB also repeated that it stands ready to extend the size or the duration of the bond-buying program if the outlook deteriorates. ECB President Mario Draghi will hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m. Frankfurt time, or 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

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