European Central Bank holds key rate steady at 0.25%

FRANKFURT (AFP) - The European Central Bank (ECB) held its key interest rates steady as widely expected on Thursday.

The ECB left its central "refi" or refinancing rate unchanged at 0.25 per cent at its monthly policy meeting, it said in a statement.

The central bank also held its other two key rates - the marginal lending rate and the deposit rate - unchanged at 0.75 per cent and zero per cent respectively.

Few market players had been expecting the central bank to ease monetary conditions in the 18 countries that share the euro, despite the worryingly low level of inflation.

ECB President Mario Draghi was scheduled to explain the reasoning behind the latest decision at a news conference.

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