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The European Central Bank left the interest rate unchanged at 1.50%, as expected. This pause comes after last month’s 0.25% hike, and was widely expected by the markets. EUR/USD trades steadily in range.

Euro/dollar started the day in a very choppy manner, and is now consolidating at around 1.4250, between the 1.4220 and 1.4282 lines. When Trichet will begin speaking at 12:30 GMT, the currency will rock once again.

Trichet is expected to soften his tone on inflation, which has weakened since the last meeting. The code words that are expected are “closely monitoring” although “very closely monitoring is also possible. See the ECB preview for details and scenarios for this highly anticipated event.

The debt crisis continues to weigh heavily on Europe. Spanish and Italian bond yields are now lower than yesterday’s close, but still above 6%. Italian yields are at 6.07% and Spain’s 10 year bond yields stand a bit higher, at 6.15%.

Will Trichet become a super hero? The ECB is the only factor that can act immediately. The pressure is mounting.

Stay tuned for live blogging of the ECB press conference.

Also the Bank of England left the interest rate unchanged. The BoE’s last change was in March 2009, and change in the rates or the level of quantitative easing is expected until the middle of 2012.