FRANKFURT, March 6 The European Central Bank
left its main interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25
percent on Thursday, holding course despite fears inflation
could get stuck in a "danger zone" below 1 percent.
The decision to leave rates unchanged was expected, though a
minority of economists polled by Reuters had expected a cut.
The ECB also left unchanged the deposit rate it pays on bank
deposits at 0.0 percent, and held its marginal lending facility
- or emergency borrowing rate - at 0.75 percent.
Markets now turn their attention to ECB President Mario
Draghi's 1330 GMT news conference, at which he will for the
first time present projections from the bank's staff stretching
The projections could give the ECB grounds for policy action
and investors will be listening for news of a potential move to
release billions of euros into the financial system.
The move, on which an ECB source predicted there would be
unanimous agreement, would see the bank end operations to drain
funds from the financial system that it spent on a sovereign
bond-buying plan at the height of the euro zone crisis.