ECB President Mario Draghi (L) arrives for a press conference in Frankfurt am Main, on October 20, 2016.
/ AFP / dpa / Frank Rumpenhorst
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The European Central Bank left ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged Thursday but kept the door open to more stimulus in December.Struggling to stave off deflation, the ECB has provided unprecedented stimulus for years. It has cut rates into negative territory, buys 80 billion euros worth of bonds each month, and has offered banks free loans, all with the aim of boosting inflation back to the ECB's target of just under 2 percent."There are no signs yet of a convincing upward trend in underlying inflation," Draghi told a news conference. But he also said that any decision about the ECB's policy stance would be left until December, when the bank would have to decide whether to extend its bond buys, now due to end in March.Any meaningful extension of asset buys will require the ECB to modify some of the program's technical constraints to counter the scarcity of some assets, like German Bunds.Changes could include relaxing self-imposed constraints like the rule prohibiting the ECB from buying assets that yield less than its deposit rate, or the rule requiring it to buy assets in proportion to each country's shareholding in the ECB.
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