The bank said its key refinancing rate would thus remain at 1.0%, where it has been since a 25-point cut that was decided at the Council's May 7, 2009 meeting.
In more normal times, the refi -- or minimum bid -- rate would be the lowest rate at which banks could seek ECB financing in competitive bidding at the ECB's main weekly refinancing operations. For now and until further notice, it is the rate at which those refinancing agreements are fixed for all bidders.
The ECB left the deposit rate -- which is the floor for euro money market rates -- at 0.25%, and the marginal lending rate -- which is the ceiling -- at 1.75%.
Monetary officials have said repeatedly in recent months that interest rates remain appropriate and that they do not see inflationary risks. The Eurozone economy is seen decelerating perceptibly after 2Q's unexpected strength, while concerns about developments in the U.S. are growing.
Market expectations of anything but unchanged short-term borrowing costs were thus virtually zero prior to the decision.
The next policy-making Governing Council meeting is scheduled for November 4.