Europe Markets: European stocks stay in red after ECB stands pat

European stock markets stayed in negative territory on Thursday after the European Central Bank left interest rates at record lows and made no changes to its quantitative easing program.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, -0.80% was down 0.2% at 343.03. The index on Wednesday rose 0.3%.

The index had been trading in tight ranges for most of the day as investors cautiously waited for the ECB to announce its latest policy decision. As expected, the bank left interest rates unchanged and made no changes to its €80-billion-a-month ($87.8 billion) quantitative easing program.

In a statement, the central bank said the Governing Council “confirms that the monthly asset purchases of 80 billion euros are intended to run until the end of March 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and in any case until it sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim.

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