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ECB Holds Rates Steady, Guidance Unchanged

The European Central Bank left its key interest rates and forward guidance unchanged on Thursday, in the first policy session since the end of its four-year long EUR 2.6 trillion asset purchase programme in December.

The Governing Council, led by Mario Draghi, left the key interest rates unchanged after the policy session in Frankfurt.

The main refi rate is currently at a record low zero percent and the deposit rate at -0.40 percent. The marginal lending facility rate is at 0.25 percent.

Eurozone interest rates were raised last in July 2011 by 25 basis points.

"The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to levels that are below, but close to, 2 percent over the medium term," the bank said in a statement.

"Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the Governing Council intends to continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the asset purchase programme for an extended period of time past the date when it starts raising the key ECB interest rates, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favorable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation," the ECB added.

Draghi is set to hold his post-decision press conference at 8.30 am ET.

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