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European Bank Leaves Rates Steady

November 18, 1999

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ The European Central Bank left its interest rates unchanged Thursday, two days after the U.S. Federal Reserve nudged up a key rate.

The ECB, which sets monetary policy for 11 nations using the euro, had raised its interest rates two weeks ago and indicated at the time that no further rise was planned soon.

The decision to keep its interest rates steady came at a regular meeting of the ECB’s governing council. The bank governors issued no statement.

Instead of meeting at their headquarters in Frankfurt, the policymakers made their decision in a conference call, suggesting the ECB felt little urgency to respond again as Europe’s economic pick up steam.

The European Central Bank left its main lending rate at 3 percent for loans to banks. It had raised that rate from 2.5 percent on Nov. 4.

On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve raised a key short-term rate by a quarter-point in an effort to keep the roaring U.S. economy in check. The central bank increased its federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other on overnight loans, to 5.5 percent.