The European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold today asPresident Mario Draghi waits for Spain to decide if it needs hishelp.

Policy makers meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia, left the benchmarkrate at a historic low of 0.75 percent, as predicted by 48 of 52economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Four forecast a cut to 0.5percent. Draghi will brief reporters on the decision, taken at oneof the ECB's twice-yearly meetings outside Frankfurt, at 2:30p.m.

A month after Draghi unveiled an unprecedented plan to buy thebonds of euro-area countries still mired in the sovereign debtcrisis, Spain, the country most likely to take up the offer, isstill mulling whether it wants to accept the conditions attached.At the same time, the euro-area economy probably entered arecession in the third quarter as the crisis damped spending andinvestment.

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