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ECB cuts key rate a quarter point
European Central Bank cuts rates for 2nd time in 5 weeks to spur economy through debt crisis
By The Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) ' The European Central Bank has cut its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 1.0 percent to help the eurozone economy as it slides toward recession because of the debt crisis.

The bank last cut rates only five weeks ago, on Nov. 3.

The bank's new president, Mario Draghi, has said the eurozone economy could be heading for a mild recession. The cut will promote economic growth and business optimism that policymakers are tackling the crisis.

A slowing economy would only make it harder for European governments to pay down debt.

Markets are now waiting to hear any signal from Draghi at his news conference about the bank's willingness to buy more government bonds, a step that can lower borrowing costs for heavily indebted countries.

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