Draghi to defend ECB's monetary stance after leaving rates on hold  

The European Central Bank left its key interest rates on hold on Thursday with ECB chief Mario Draghi expected to use his press conference to defend the bank's recent string of bold stimulus measures.

Analysts had not expected the ECB to unveil any new monetary plans this week after it announced a package of measures in December and March aimed at spurring both inflation and economic growth in the 19-member currency bloc.

The March package of measures included lowering the ECB's benchmark refinancing rate to zero and driving the deposit rate deeper into negative territory.

The deposit rate, which represents a charge on banks for parking funds at the ECB, was held at minus 0.4 per cent.

Draghi is likely to use his press conference later on Thursday to hit back at renewed German-led criticism of the bank's easy money policy and record low interest rates.

The ECB chief is also likely to face a series of questions from reporters about whether the bank is planning to deploy any unorthodox measures, including so-called using helicopter money where the bank would inject funds directly into households.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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