The European Central Bank expectedly kept the key interest rates unchanged

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As widely expected, the ECB kept interest rates and guidance unchanged at its policy meeting, with investors focusing on comments from ECB President Mario Draghi in a subsequent press conference.

The European currency managed to hit a 3 year high today despite having a problematic weak; the currency managed to hit the $1.25, the last time it managed to climb this level is last December of 2014.

"The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases", the central bank said in a statement.

The interest rates were left unchanged by the European Central Bank, while net monthly asset purchases were maintained at euro 30 billion until "the end of September 2018, or beyond, if necessary". "US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin's latest comments clearly signalled a shift in the US forex policy, reinforcing negative dollar sentiment", he told AFP. The ECB kept rates unchanged as expected, earlier. But rapid economic growth and the likely end of the bond buys later this year justify some currency strength.

He said several European Central Bank policymakers at a meeting on Thursday had questioned a change in USA policy.

The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond, the benchmark for the region, was lower 1.6 bps at 0.515 percent, moving further off the recent five-month high of 0.54 percent hit in early January.

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There is growing expectation that the program for quantitative easing will end after September.

Inflation is also years away from rising back to the ECB's target of 2 percent, so Draghi can hardly afford any big currency swings.

British lender Close Brothers Group's shares rose 8 per cent after it saw a rise in first-half profit, driven by strength in banking and asset management and higher trading income from market maker Winterflood.

Indeed, growth projections, revised up repeatedly, already look too pessimistic as manufacturing, trade and jobs data all point to superb run for the euro zone economy, economists argue.

The purchases pump newly created money into the economy to raise inflation and growth in the wake of the 19-country eurozone's crisis over high debt in member states like Italy and Greece.

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