[FRANKFURT] The European Central Bank on Thursday left its key interest rates unchanged at its first policy meeting of the year, despite current volatility on the world's financial markets owing to concerns about the slowing Chinese economy.
As widely expected, the ECB held its main "refi" borrowing rate at 0.05 per cent, where it has been since September 2014.
And it also left its other two lending rates - the marginal lending rate and the deposit rate - unchanged at 0.30 per cent and minus 0.30 per cent respectively.
ECB chief Mario Draghi was scheduled to explain the reasoning behind the latest decision at his regular post-meeting news conference.
Analysts said they expected him to keep the door open for more stimulus later, in the face of recent financial market turmoil.
At its last meeting in December, the ECB cut its key "deposit" rate by a modest 0.10 percentage point to minus 0.30 per cent and extended the length of its asset purchase programme known as quantitative easing or QE by six months to March 2017.