European Central Bank holds key interest rate steady at 0.05%

FRANKFURT (AFP) - The European Central Bank held its key interest rates steady, as expected, at its regular policy meeting on Wednesday, a spokesman said.

The ECB's governing council, meeting a day earlier than usual because of meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund at the weekend, voted to hold the benchmark "refi" refinancing rate steady at its current all-time low of 0.05 per cent, the spokesman said.

The two other key rates - on the deposit and marginal lending facilities - were also unchanged at -0.2 per cent and +0.3 per cent, respectively.

ECB chief Mario Draghi was expected to explain the reasoning behind the decision at his usual post-meeting news conference.