ECB leaves interest rates unchanged

Frankfurt, June 7 (IANS/EFE) The European Central Bank Thursday left its benchmark interest rate at the record low level of 0.50 percent in an effort to boost economic growth in the Eurozone.

The ECB’s Governing Council left the interest rate on its marginal lending facility, the amount it charges for one-day loans, at 1 percent.

The financial markets were expecting the ECB to leave rates unchanged and analysts said the move had already been factored in by traders.

Analysts said it was highly unlikely that significant measures would be taken to boost lending to small- and mid-sized businesses.

Central banks around the world have been pumping liquidity into their economies in an effort to ramp up growth in the wake of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The US Federal Reserve has kept short-term interest rates near zero and implemented an aggressive monetary stimulus program pegged to unemployment and inflation targets.

The Bank of England left its benchmark rate unchanged at 0.50 percent Thursday and reaffirmed its bond-buying program totaling 375 billion pounds ($579 billion).

The ECB has been weighing its options for stimulating growth in the Eurozone by expanding lending to companies in hard-hit southern Europe and helping banks restructure balance sheets.

–IANS/EFE

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