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ECB cuts key rate to new low to help economy

The European Central Bank has cut its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point to a record low of 0.75 percent. The move followed a rate cut by China's central bank and new stimulus measures by the Bank of England.

The ECB cut Thursday in the refinancing rate is aimed at giving a further boost to the sagging European economy after a summit last week where leaders agreed on new steps to strengthen the euro currency.

The refinancing rate cut could mean lower borrowing costs for banks, businesses and consumers. Some economists say it may have only a symbolic effect, since rates are already very low. Lending activity remains weak because there's little demand from businesses for credit.

The ECB also cut its overnight deposit rate — what it charges banks for depositing their money with the ECB overnight — to zero. That is meant to encourage banks to invest their money in the economy rather than stash it with the ECB.

Source: Associated Press
Date: 05.07.2012 [325]
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