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June 6, 2019, 7:54 a.m. EDT

European Central Bank says now plans to leave rates on hold at least through first-half 2020

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By William L. Watts

The European Central Bank on Thursday left interest rates unchanged, and extended the period it expects rates to remain on hold through at least the first half of 2020. The ECB had previously indicated rates would remain on hold through the end of 2019. The ECB also announced the terms of its third round of targeted longer-term refinancing operations, with the rate in each operation to be set 10 basis points above the average rate applied to the Eurosystem's main refinancing operations over the life of the respective operation. For banks whose lending exceeds the benchmark target set by the ECB, the rate will be lower and could run as low as the average interest rate on the deposit facility prevailing over the life of the operation plus 10 basis points. All eyes will be on ECB President Mario Draghi's news conference, set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

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ECB extends forward guidance on rates, sets terms for long-term bank loans

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