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European Central Bank holds interest rates steady

Friday,   14-Sep-2018   10:53 AM (IST)

The European Central Bank (ECB) left benchmark interest rates unchanged on Thursday, with policymakers likely to argue the regional economy is robust enough to absorb spare capacity and generate inflation.In a subtle change to the bank's guidance, the ECB announced plans to end bond purchases at the end of year and keep interest rates at record low levels at least through next summer.The bank also confirmed it will halve bond purchases to 15 billion euros ($17.4 billion) per month from October.With inflation rebounding and economic growth leveling-off at a relatively stable pace, the ECB has been gradually removing crisis-fighting stimulus for months. The scaling back of such measures come despite risks to Europe's economy, ranging from global protectionism to emerging market turmoil.Nonetheless, ECB President Mario Draghi confirmed the bank will stick to its current monetary policy, with Europe's economic growth run now into its sixth consecutive year.