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ECB opens door to first interest rate cut since 2016

Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) at a press conference at the ECB's headquarters
ECB president Mario Draghi at a press conference earlier this year.
Photo: Arne Dedert/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

The European Central Bank left its key interest rate at -0.4%, but sent strong signals on Thursday that its record low interest rate could be heading lower as soon as September. It also hinted that it could restart the huge asset-buying program it ended in December to boost the eurozone economy.

Why it matters: The ECB is the latest central bank to hint that lower rates are imminent in an effort to stave off a global slowdown and ramp up below-target inflation. In the meantime, ECB president Mario Draghi looks as if he will end his term in October the way he started: with quantitative easing.