The European Central Bank on Thursday held its benchmark interest rate steady at its record-low level in a decision that was widely anticipated. 

Economists polled by Bloomberg News expected the ECB to hold its key interest rate steady at 0.75 percent. However, some had expected something more from the ECB after its president, Mario Draghi, said the bank was "ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro."

Shortly before the ECB announced its decision, the euro was trading beneath $1.23. In the last 12 months the euro has fallen 13.5 percent. European stocks remained in positive territory after the ECB decision, which many expect will be followed by hints from the bank of imminent action to stimulate the euro zone.

"After leaving interest rates on hold today, we suspect that the ECB will disappoint hopes of bold action to bring down Spain and Italy's borrowing costs," Capital Economics said in a statement. "Having pledged last week to do "whatever it takes to preserve the euro" and explained that, since high sovereign risk premia are hampering the transmission of monetary policy, they come within the ECB's mandate, it would be a massive disappointment if President Draghi announced nothing at today's press conference."