ECB interest rate decision - no change

EUROPE - The European Central Bank held interest rates steady on 23 May, as expected, despite pessimism about the euro zone's economic performance and prospects.

The ECB's governing council - meeting a day earlier than usual because of the Ascension Day holiday tomorrow, 24 May, - held its key interest rate at 4.5%.

The decision comes two weeks after the ECB surprisingly lowered its key lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.5%, and coincides with economic indicators from Germany