ECB leaves bank rates at record low amid Portugal turmoil

The European Central Bank has decided not to lower its lending rate further in spite of evidence that tensions in the eurozone have once again flared up.

Led by president Mario Draghi, the ECB voted to keep the interest rate at the already historic low of 0.5 per cent, after lowering the figure from 0.75 per cent in May.

The news comes after division in the Portugese coalition became apparent with the resignation of finance minister Vitor Gaspar, who was responsible for implementing unpopular austerity measures in the country, prompting a share price slump and a spike in bond yields.

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The euro fell as markets prepared for Mr Draghi to speak at a press conference on Thursday afternoon where he is expected to outline other possible ways to stimulate the economy in the absence of a rate cut.