Banking & Finance

Europe and U.K. Keep Interest Rates on Hold

Key decisions are out from the Bank of England and from the European Central Bank (ECB). Most U.S. investors would prefer not to have to care about these moves, but that is now the world we all live in.

Earlier this morning came news from the Bank of England that it was also maintaining its rate at an unchanged 0.50%. The size of asset purchases under its quantitative easing measures was steady at 375 billion pounds.

The European Central Bank has decided that interest rates are low enough despite the unemployment situation and despite the economic turmoil that the major and outer European nations are in right now.

In the decision on interest rates, the main refinancing operation rate (also called the refi rate) was left unchanged at 0.75%. The ECB statement was as follows:

At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.75%, 1.50% and 0.00% respectively. The President of the ECB will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions at a press conference starting at 2.30 p.m. CET today.

Today’s decision from the ECB is actually of little surprise and should have little, if any, impact on the bond markets and stock markets.