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ECB takes cautious stance as markets tumble

It holds interest rates steady amid market volatility but economists expect action in March

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The ECB cited market conditions - the 40 per cent fall in oil and change in the euro's exchange rate since the ECB's last staff economic projections as well as the selloff in markets and geopolitical factors - for the need to reconsider its monetary policy stance.

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Mr Draghi said the measures taken in December were appropriate and have been effective. "Since then these circumstances have changed."

Frankfurt

THE European Central Bank held interest rates at record lows on Thursday, but the market crash, tumbling bank stocks and ebbing inflation may set the stage for action later in the year.

In December, the Governing Council cut the deposit rate, increased the charge on banks

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