FRANKFURT, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank unexpectedly cut interest rates to new record lows on Thursday, to try to lift inflation from rock-bottom levels and support the stagnating euro zone economy.
Below are highlights of ECB President Mario Draghi's post-meeting news conference, when he was expected to give a more detailed explanation of the bank's decision.
"Should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation, the Governing Council is unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments within its mandate."
"(The ECB's decisions) will support our forward guidance on the key ECB interest rates and reflect the fact that there are significant and increasing differences in the monetary policy cycle between major advanced economies."
"The Eurosystem will also purchase a broad portfolio of euro-denominated covered bonds issued by MFIs domiciled in the euro area under a new covered bond purchase programme. Interventions under these programmes will start in October 2014. The detailed modalities of these programmes will be announced after the Governing Council meeting on October 2, 2014."
"The newly decided measures, together with the targeted long-term refinancing operations, which will be conducted in two weeks, will have a sizable impact on our balance sheet."
"The Eurosystem will purchase a broad portfolio of simple and transparent asset-backed securities with underlying assets consisting of claims against the euro area non-financial private sector under an ABS purchase programme.
"This reflects the role of the ABS market in facilitating new credit flows to the economy and follows the intensification of preparatory work on this matter."
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