30 Jan 2009

ECB could cut rates further

6:32 am on 30 January 2009

The European Central Bank could cut its interest rates to new lows.

Unemployment in Germany rose in January by 56,000 in seasonally adjusted terms, compared with a forecast of 30,000 - its biggest rise in nearly four years. The unadjusted total of jobless is now 3.489 million.

In an interview with CNN, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Thursday the bank could take more unusual measures against the global economic slowdown and cut rates below their current 2%, the lowest the bank has set.

The US Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it was prepared to buy long-term Treasury bonds if that would help improve credit market conditions.

The Fed held its main interest rate in a range between zero and 0.25% and said it could stay unusually low for some time.