ECB lowers interest rates to 3.25%

EUROPE - The European Central Bank (ECB) has slashed its key interest rate by half a percentage point to 3.25%, its fourth cut this year and bigger than many economists had dared to hope.

They applauded the bank's decision and the fact that it opted to follow the lead set by the Bank of England earlier in the day by trimming half a percentage point.

"It's a good decision," said Klaus Wiener of AM Generali Finanz in Koln, adding that "it looks like concerted action".

Financial markets had been