Europe

The Latest: ECB holds rates, doesn't extend stimulus program

President of European Central Bank Mario Draghi poses prior to a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, following a meeting of the ECB governing council. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

President of European Central Bank Mario Draghi poses prior to a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, following a meeting of the ECB governing council. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

The European Central Bank has left its key interest rates unchanged and decided against extending the duration of its bond-buying stimulus program.

Investors are waiting to hear what ECB President Mario Draghi says about the outlook at a subsequent news conference.

The central bank faces stubbornly low annual inflation of only 0.2 percent despite pumping 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in newly printed money into the banking system through bond purchases since March, 2015. The purchases, made at a rate of 80 billion euros a month, are set to continue at least through March, 2017 or until inflation convincingly picks up.

Draghi could indicate Thursday that the bank is ready to extend the bond-buying program.

The central bank's 25-member governing council left its benchmark rate at zero and its rate on deposits from commercial banks at minus 0.4 percent.