May 2 - The European Central Bank cuts interest rates to an all time low - the first cut in ten months. However few economists expect it to make a decisive difference. Rough cut only, no reporter narration.
ROUGH CUT ONLY, NO REPORTER NARRATION The European Central Bank cut interest rates for the first time in 10 months on Thursday, promising to provide as much liquidity as euro zone banks need well into next year and to help smaller companies get access to credit. The ECB lowered its main interest rate by a quarter percentage point to a record low 0.50 percent in response to a drop in euro zone inflation well below its target level, and rising unemployment. The cut was widely expected after President Mario Draghi said last month that the ECB stood ready to act - a phrase he repeated on Thursday - but few economists expect it to make a decisive difference. Acknowledging that, the ECB said it would prime banks with as much liquidity as they need until at least July 2014 and look at ways to boost lending to smaller companies, which are the lifeblood of Europe's economies but which in many countries have been starved of credit.