Mario Draghi
Mario Draghi said the quantitative easing, or asset purchasing programme, had helped SMEsGetty

Mario Draghi's European Central Bank said it is holding fire on interest rates, leaving eurozone rates at 0.05%. The decision to refrain from changing the rate is in line with the market consensus.

The European policy makers are facing reporters at a press conference at 1.30pm GMT. At the last monetary policy conference in December 2015, the ECB president announced the central bank was extending the dates of its asset purchasing programme, but did not increase the amount.

The quantitative easing programme was introduced to inject more liquidity into the European markets, which have suffered from slowing growth in emerging markets. The ECB is not seeing enough economic growth to increase interest rates.

The downturn of global markets, which sent the FTSE 100 into a bear market, has likely played a large factor in the ECB's decision to hold interest rates at 0.05%. On 19 January, data provider Eurostat confirmed December 2015's eurozone inflation rate was 0.2%, up from 0.1% in November.

The ECB, as well as the Bank of England, has its inflation target at 2%. As long as inflation is near 0%, the monetary policymakers are unlikely to take action.