ECB meets amid rate cut expectations

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank's governing council is meeting Thursday amid expectations it will cut its key interest rate to stimulate the lagging economy in the 17 countries that use the euro.

The council will announce its rate decision after its meeting in Bratislava, Slovaki — one of its two meetings per year that are held outside Frankfurt. Mario Draghi, ECB president, will hold a press conference after the announcement.

Many investors expect the ECB to cut its key interest rate from 0.75 percent, which is already a record low.

In theory, a cut would help companies by lowering borrowing costs. Economists say this cut may not have much direct effect since banks are not always passing on lower rates to customers in indebted countries, where the help is needed most.

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