ECB holds rates steady

EUROPE - The European Central Bank (ECB) has left its key interest rate unchanged at 3.25% on Thursday at its last meeting before the introduction of euro notes and coins in January.

The ECB lowered rates by a bigger than expected fifty basis points four weeks ago, pushing them down to their lowest level since February 2000.

But the bank has reduced rates only four times this year unlike the ten cuts made by the US Federal Reserve and the seven by the Bank of England.

The ECB has not cut rate

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