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ECB holds rates as inflation picks up slightly

Thursday, 5 Dec 2013 | 7:51 AM ET

FRANKFURT, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25 percent on Thursday, holding course after a pick-up in inflation and a drop in unemployment eased pressure on the bank to act again.

The decision to leave rates unchanged was widely expected.

The ECB held the deposit rate it pays on bank deposits at 0.0 percent, and also left unchanged its marginal lending facility - or emergency borrowing rate - at 0.75 percent.

The central bank cut rates a month ago after euro zone inflation tumbled to 0.7 percent in October. That rate picked up slightly to 0.9 percent in November, though remained well below the ECB's target of just under 2 percent.

Markets now turn their attention to ECB President Mario Draghi's 1330 GMT news conference, at which he will explain the reasoning behind this month's rate decision.