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ECB pledges low rates 'for extended period'

The eurozone economy shrank 0.2 per cent in the first quarter, the sixth quarterly decline in a row.

twitter-logo Associated Press   Frankfurt     Last Updated: July 4, 2013  | 19:13 IST

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi says the bank's council had "an extensive discussion" of a potential rate cut at its Thursday meeting.

But the bank held off and instead offered assurance that rates will stay at current levels or lower "for an extended period of time."

Draghi said the current record low benchmark rate of 0.5 per cent "is not the lower bound" and said that the bank's statements were intended "to inject a downward bias in interest rates for the foreseeable future."

The eurozone economy shrank 0.2 per cent in the first quarter, the sixth quarterly decline in a row.

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