Near-term cut unlikely as ECB takes neutral tone

Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), signalled that the governing council is unlikely to back a rate cut in the coming months.

The central bank kept its benchmark rate at 4% for the ninth straight month on Thursday. In his post-meeting remarks, the president indicated that rates were likely to remain on hold in the short term, emphasising that the governing council's priority was to fight inflation.

"The key part of Trichet's statement was that 'the priority

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