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ECB holds rates in 1st policy decision under Lagarde

The European Central Bank maintained its key rates at the first monetary policy meeting under new President Christine Lagarde.

The central bank's rate on the main refinancing operations remained at zero percent and rates on the marginal lending and deposit facilities remained at 0.25% and negative 0.50%, respectively.

This is the second consecutive meeting when the ECB held rates, after rolling out a much-anticipated stimulus package in September.

The central bank continues to expect that rates will remain at their current or lower levels until inflation converges to the target of "close to, but below, 2%." Data from late last month showed that annual headline inflation in the eurozone quickened to 1.0% in November from 0.7% in October. Final data will be released Dec. 18.

The €20 billion asset purchase program, which began Nov. 1, is projected to run "for as long as necessary" and end shortly before the ECB starts increasing rates.

Lagarde recently stated that the ECB will undertake a "strategic review" of its monetary policy in the near future as part of a "new European policy mix" to spur growth and increase domestic demand.

The planned "comprehensive" review would begin in January and conclude by the end of 2020, Lagarde said in a news conference, according to Reuters and Bloomberg News. Lagarde said "all and every issue" should be tackled in the review, with the ECB's objectives at the "core and center."