Friday, 9 April 2010

ECB and BoE leave interest rates unchanged

There was no action on interest rates by the two most important European central banks on Thursday. Bloomberg reports:

The European Central Bank left interest rates at a record low as the Greek fiscal crisis complicates its withdrawal of emergency stimulus measures.

The Frankfurt-based ECB kept its benchmark interest rate at 1 percent, as predicted by all 62 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. A separate poll shows the rate may stay there until the first quarter of next year. President Jean-Claude Trichet has already announced changes to ECB collateral rules to help Greece as it struggles to finance its debts...

The Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5 percent earlier today and held its bond-purchase plan at 200 billion pounds...

Economic data from Europe on Thursday were not particularly positive, with eurozone retail sales falling 0.6 percent in February.

News from Japan earlier on Thursday had been mixed. The current account surplus widened in February as exports jumped 47 percent from a year earlier but exports fell 3.9 percent from the previous month. Also, core private-sector machinery orders fell again in February by 5.4 percent but the Economy Watchers index climbed to 47.4 in March, a fourth straight gain.

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