European Central Bank holds off loosening monetary policy as eurozone recovery continues

The European Central Bank has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25 percent.

The central bank for the eurozone's 18 countries held off on cutting rates as recent economic indicators suggest a modest recovery is gaining strength. The inflation rate has also shown signs of stabilizing, albeit at a low rate.

Markets were waiting for bank President Mario Draghi's post-decision news conference Thursday for clues on the possibility of future policy changes.

Investors will also pay close attention to the ECB's new economic forecasts, in particular its inflation expectations. Some economists worry the eurozone might fall into deflation, a sustained drop in prices that can choke growth, though the ECB has said it doesn't expect that.