EUROPE - The European Central Bank lifted interest rates for the first time in almost three years in a bid to stem inflation.
The ECB raised the benchmark interest rate to 1.25% from a record low of 1%, raised the marginal lending rate to 2% from 1.75% and increased the deposit rate to 0.5% from 0.25%, maintaining a 75 basis-point corridor either side of the benchmark.
Surging oil prices across the region, in addition to record growth in Germany, have stoked inflation concerns.
The European Commission recently upgraded its inflation forecast for the single currency block to 2.2%.
Today's decision means the ECB joins China and India in raising rates while the US Federal Reserve has opted to keep monetary policy loose.
The decision also comes after Portugal became the third country in the region to request an EU bail-out yesterday. Ireland and Greece have previously made similar requests.
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