January 22, 2015 / 12:53 PM / 3 years ago

ECB holds rates, Draghi to announce further measures

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday, and said its president would announce further monetary policy measures at a 1330 GMT news conference.

The decision to leave the cost of borrowing at record lows was widely expected after the ECB cut rates to rock-bottom levels last September and the bank’s president, Mario Draghi, then said they had hit “the lower bound”.

At Thursday’s meeting, the ECB left its main refinancing rate, which determines the cost of credit in the economy, at 0.05 percent.

It also kept the rate on bank overnight deposits at -0.20 percent, which means banks pay to park funds at the central bank, and held its marginal lending facility - or emergency overnight borrowing rate for banks - at 0.30 percent.

Markets now turn their attention to Draghi’s 1330 GMT news conference, with investor expectations high that he will announce a programme of money printing to buy sovereign bonds - so-called quantitative easing (QE).

Writing by Paul Carrel Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.

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