ECB holds key rate steady at record low of 0.50%

The European Central Bank on Thursday held its key rates unchanged, as widely expected, at its regular monthly policy meeting.

The ECB's governing council voted to keep the bank's key "refi" refinancing rate steady at an all-time low of 0.50 percent, it said in a statement.

The central bank also left its other two rates -- the deposit rate and the marginal lending rate -- at zero percent and 1.0 percent respectively.

No analysts or ECB watchers had been expecting the central bank to announce any further policy moves this month after paring back the refi rate by a quarter of a percentage point in May.

ECB chief Mario Draghi was scheduled to explain the reasoning behind the decision at his regular monthly post-meeting news conference.