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ECB Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

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(Kitco News) - The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged Thursday and continued to say it will end its monthly asset purchases at the end of the year.

The central bank’s Governing Council left the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility at 0.00%, 0.25% and minus 0.40%, respectively.

“The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to levels that are below, but close to, 2% over the medium term,” the central bank said.

Meanwhile, officials said they would continue to make net purchases under the asset-purchase program at the previously announced new monthly pace of €15 billion until the end of December.

“The Governing Council anticipates that, subject to incoming data confirming the medium-term inflation outlook, net purchases will then end,” the ECB said.

The Governing Council said it intends to reinvest the principal payments from maturing securities for an extended period of time after the end of the net asset purchases, at least for as long as “necessary to maintain favorable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.”

ECB President Mario Draghi will hold a news conference later Thursday.

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