ECB holds rates despite Cypriot jolt to euro confidence

The European Central Bank held its main interest rate at a record low of 0.75 percent on Thursday, as it waits to see whether the economy stabilises or a recent slew of weak economic data is a start of another downturn.

Some ECB policymakers, including President Mario Draghi, have stressed that the central bank's top priority is to enhance the transmission of its already ultra-low interest rates across the euro zone as interest banks charge vary wildly across the common currency area.

Thursday's decisions marks the ninth month running with the ECB's main interest rate on hold at 0.75 percent.

The euro zone struck a deal last month to hand Cyprus a bailout worth 10 billion euros ($12.84 billion) but demanded rich depositors in its banks forfeit some money despite the risk of a wider bank run.

The central bank also left the interest rate on its deposit facility at 0.0 percent and held its marginal lending facility - or emergency borrowing rate - at 1.50 percent.

The markets now turn their attention to the Draghi news conference, scheduled to begin at 1230 GMT, where he will present the central bank's view on the economy.