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Wednesday 22 November 2017

ECB leaves interest rates unchanged as expected

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi testifies before the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in Brussels, Belgium, September 23, 2015. The ECB needs more time to assess if it will have to beef up its 1 trillion euro plus asset-buying program, ECB President Draghi said, confounding some expectations that the bank was ready to expand quantitative easing. REUTERS/Yves Herman
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi testifies before the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in Brussels, Belgium, September 23, 2015. The ECB needs more time to assess if it will have to beef up its 1 trillion euro plus asset-buying program, ECB President Draghi said, confounding some expectations that the bank was ready to expand quantitative easing. REUTERS/Yves Herman

The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday at a meeting in Malta, holding them at record lows as it prints money to lift the economy and raise inflation.

The decision to leave the cost of borrowing unchanged was widely expected after the ECB cut rates to rock-bottom levels over a year ago and repeatedly said they had hit "the lower bound".

At Thursday's meeting, the ECB left its main refinancing rate, which determines the cost of credit in the economy, at 0.05 percent.

It also kept the rate on bank overnight deposits at -0.20 percent, which means banks pay to park funds at the central bank, and held its marginal lending facility - or emergency overnight borrowing rate for banks - at 0.30 percent.

Markets now turn their attention to ECB President Mario news conference and whether the bank will make any adjustments to its €60bn per month asset purchase programme.

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