Gold News

ECB holds firm on rates

The European Central Bank (ECB) has refused to move its interest rate goalposts, despite numerous claims for an easing of liquidity.

At a Frankfurt governing council meeting, the ECB decided to keep its key borrowing rate at four per cent, with inflation risks said to be hardening ECB resolve to keep rates where they are.

President of the bank Jean-Claude Trichet is still to announce the reasons behind the decision, but estimates of European inflation from the past week have put October levels above the bank's target.

But a factor likely to have pushed the decision to the wire is the newfound strength of the euro, with Eurozone economic growth slowing as exports are held up by the currency's strength relative to the dollar.

The euro has risen almost ten per cent against the dollar in just over two months, prompting action from the ECB, but Trichet refused to budge, claiming however that he would be "ready to counter upside risks to price stability" when necessary.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been a fervent critic of ECB policy, earlier this year questioning Frankfurt's focus on controlling inflation and pushing for lower rates that could instead stimulate investment and job creation.


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