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Stock selloff deepens after ECB holds off on rate cut

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Action Thursday (March 12) from the European Central Bank to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus.

But not, quite, the action markets expected:

ECB PRESIDENT CHRISTINE LAGARDE, SAYING (ENGLISH):

"The governing council decided to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged."

New bank president Christine Lagarde did pledge a range of other measures.

That includes more ultra-cheap loans for businesses, and laxer rules on cash and capital for banks.

But markets had expected a further cut in rates below the current record low of minus point-5%.

When that didn't come, the market reaction was swift.

Already battered European shares took another dive lower.

Germany's Dax index was down as much as 10% following the news.

Banks were among the decliners, with Barclays off as much as 15%.

The ECB's decision to stand pat suggests policymakers don't think another cut will do much.

Lagarde says the onus is on governments to act:

ECB PRESIDENT CHRISTINE LAGARDE, SAYING (ENGLISH):

"In particular an ambitious and coordinated fiscal policy response - ambitious and coordinated fiscal policy response - is required to support businesses and workers at risk."

That comment may be aimed at Germany, Europe's biggest economy.

Policymakers there are split on whether to step in with a big stimulus package.

The pressure on Berlin to act is mounting by the day.

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