The European Central Bank has announced a cut in one of its key interest rates in an attempt to stimulate lending and help a modest economic recovery.
The bank reduced the rate on deposits from commercial banks from minus 0.2 percent to minus 0.3 percent. The negative rate is intended to push banks to lend excess cash by imposing a penalty for leaving it at the central bank's super-safe deposit facility.
The rate cut is also seen as likely to weigh on the euros exchange rate against other currencies. That would help exporters and thus support the modest recovery in the 19 countries that use the euro as their currency.
The ECB also said it will announce further measures at a news conference later by President Mario Draghi.