ECB breaks norm with rate hike


The European Central Bank (ECB) is the first G-4 central bank to begin its exit from its accommodative monetary policy stance after its governing council on Thursday unanimously agreed to raise its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%.

The decision to hike rates was widely expected by markets and ends a run of almost two years of its main refinancing rate, which was 1%.

At a conference in Frankfurt, Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the ECB, dismissed reporters' fears the rate

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