The European Central Bank held its key refinancing rate unchanged at 0.75 percent and made no changes to its lending or deposit rates following the monthly meeting of the Bank's Governing Council Thursday.

"Price developments over the medium term should remain contained. Monetary and loan dynamics remain subdued. Inflation expectations for the euro area continue to be firmly anchored in line with our aim of maintaining inflation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term," said ECB president Mario Draghi during the opening statement to his press conference. "At the same time, weak economic activity has extended into the early part of the year and a gradual recovery is projected for the second half of this year, subject to downside risks. Against this overall background our monetary policy stance will remain accommodative for as long as needed."