ECB Leaves Rates Unchanged, Reiterates Asset-purchase Plans

The European Central Bank, as expected, made no changes to interest rates Thursday and repeated that it could increase the size or lengthen the duration of its asset-buying program if inflation looks set to fall far back below its target of near but just below 2%. The ECB Governing Council left the rate on main refinancing operations at 0% and held the deposit rate paid on funds parked overnight at the bank at minus 0.4%. The rate on the ECB's marginal lending facility remains at 0.25%. As previously announced, the ECB reduced its monthly bond purchases to 60 billion euros beginning in April, a pace the central bank reiterated it would maintain until the end of December, or beyond, if necessary. 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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