The European Central Bank left interest rates and its money-printing programme unchanged as President Mario Draghi said it would review in December what more it could do to tackle the threat of weak inflation. Ivor Bennett reports.
The numbers were certainly not in his favour. The euro zone's spluttering engine room - Germany - warning of a slowdown in manufacturing. Negative inflation also piling on the pressure. So, how was Mario Draghi going to respond? SOUNDBITE (English) MARIO DRAGHI, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, SAYING: "The governing council is willing and able to act by using all the instruments available within its mandate if warranted in order to maintain an appropriate degree of monetary accommodation." It is a familiar message. But for some, one that needs changing. It's six months since Draghi unleashed the ECB's 60 billion euros a month asset buying programme. Lending surveys suggest it is filtering through. But not enough, says Admiral Markets' Darren Sinden. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DARREN SINDEN, MARKET RESEARCH & CLIENT RELATIONS MANAGER, ADMIRAL MARKETS, SAYING: "The best we can point to is probably some marginal increase in credit growth and reduction in credit standards in European lending. We're not seeing any dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the EU economy. And we still have a very, very uneven recovery, where we have one at all." The peripheries are the persistent problem. Anti-bailout sentiment once again resurfacing in Greece. Portugal still without a government. BGC's Mike Ingram. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIKE INGRAM, MARKET STRATEGIST, BGC PARTNERS, SAYING: "If it weren't for ultra-low interest rates, debt servicing capability and credit risk would start to be priced back into market. So yep, you know I think the euro zone crisis is merely sleeping." Though rates were held, the ECB did apparently discuss a cut in its deposit rate. Enough to talk down the euro to below 1.12 dollars for the first time this month. But for how long? More QE no longer a question of if, it seems, but when.