ECB Delivers Half-Point Hike But Offers Little on Next Move

The European Central Bank went ahead with a planned half-point increase in interest rates but offered few clues on what may follow amid market turmoil that roiled Credit Suisse Group AG, Bloomberg News reported. The deposit rate was lifted to 3% on Thursday — as officials have been flagging since their last meeting six weeks ago and as the majority of economists anticipated, but dropped language from its statement indicating where borrowing costs are headed. It’s “not possible to determine at this point in time” the future path for rates, President Christine Lagarde told reporters in Frankfurt when pressed on what the next move may be. “If the baseline as we have it was confirmed and was to persist, we would have more ground to cover.” After becoming engulfed in the turmoil set off by Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, Credit Suisse’s stock embarked on its initial plunge just as the ECB’s Governing Council convened for its two-day gathering, raising concern about the health of the wider banking industry. Asked whether the latest turbulence could herald a repeat of the last global financial crisis, Lagarde said “the banking sector is in a much, much stronger position than where it was back in 2008.” Read more.