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ECB to halt rates rise

THE European Central Bank (ECB) is planning to halt its interest rise cycle today after two successive increases this year.

Up until two months ago, experts were predicting a steady run of ECB rate rises, but the recent souring of the economy now means rates are staying on hold at their current 1.5pc for a lengthy spell.

President Jean-Claude Trichet told the European Parliament that the bank's view of inflation was "under study" rather than repeating the long-held line of risks being "to the upside".

New inflation and economic growth forecasts from the ECB's in-house economists should come in gloomier than the last round in June and be used as a key justification for policymakers' change of tack.