URGENT ¥¥¥ ECB holds key interest rate at record low 0.75%

The European Central Bank decided Thursday to leave its main refinancing rate at a historic low of 0.75 percent, despite concerns that political gridlock in Italy could trigger a resurgence in the debt crisis.

ECB watchers had not expected the central bank to ease borrowing costs in the euro area this month, but analysts said they would listen to hear whether central bank chief Mario Draghi had anything to say about the political situation in Italy and the possible repercussions for the euro area as a whole.