ECB Leaves Policy Unchanged, Drops Reference To 'lower Rates'

The European Central Bank, as expected, left interest rates unchanged Thursday but removed language from its policy statement indicating rates could go lower in the future. The ECB said it continued to expect interest rates "to remain at present levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon" of its asset-buying program, which is set to run at least through December. In previous statements, the ECB had said it expected rates "to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time." The ECB's refinancing rate remains 0%, while the rate paid on deposits left overnight at the central bank was held at minus 0.4%. The ECB's marginal lending rate remains at 0.25%. The focus now turns to ECB President Mario Draghi's news conference, which is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

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