ECB Holds Rates as It Parses Risks to Global Economy
By Tom Fairless
VILNIUS, Lithuania -- The European Central Bank left its policy mix unchanged, keeping its powder dry despite escalating risks in the global economy that have caused Federal Reserve officials to consider cutting interest rates.
In a statement Thursday, the ECB repeated that it would it would hold its key policy rate at the current level of minus 0.4% at least through to the end of the year and continue to reinvest maturing bonds in its EUR2.6 trillion ($2.9 trillion) debt portfolio.
Investors will now turn to ECB President Mario Draghi's news conference at 08:30 ET for clues as to how the central bank might react to a prolonged period of economic weakness, including possible interest-rate cuts or fresh bond purchases.
Mr. Draghi will unveil fresh staff economic forecasts on Thursday that could show lower growth next year. He could also reveal the terms of a fresh batch of long-term loans for banks.
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