RTTNews - As expected, the European Central Bank or ECB on Thursday left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 1% for the second straight month.

The ECB also retained its interest rate on marginal lending facility at 1.75% and the rate on deposit facility at 0.25%.

The President of the ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet, is set to hold a press conference at 8.30am ET. He is expected to reveal further details of the EUR 60 billion covered bond buying plan announced in May.

Earlier in the day, Sweden's Riksbank lowered its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage point to a record low of 0.25% and said the rate is expected to remain at this low level over the coming year. In addition, the Executive Board of the Riksbank decided to offer loans totaling SEK 100 billion to commercial banks at a fixed interest rate and with a maturity of 12 months to ensure that monetary policy has the intended effect.

Elsewhere, the Central Bank of Iceland held its policy interest rate unchanged at 12% after lowering the rate by 100 basis points in June.

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