RTTNews - Thursday, the European Central Bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at a record low level as the 16-nation economy faces its worst recession since the World War II.

The Governing Council retained the interest rate on the main refinancing operations at 1% after cutting the rate by a quarter point from 1.25% in May. The decision matched economists' expectations. The ECB has lowered interest rates by a total of three and a quarter percentage points since early October 2008.

The central bank also left its interest rate on marginal lending facility untouched at 1.75% and the rate on the 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 widely expected to detail further non-standard measures.

Earlier in the day, the Bank of England kept its Bank Rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5% and decided to continue with its asset purchase scheme worth GBP 125 billion.

Meanwhile, Iceland's central bank lowered its key rate by 100 basis point to 12% and in Russia, the apex bank cut its refinancing rate by 50 basis points to 11.5%.

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