European Central Bank raises interest rates by quarter-point to fight inflation

The ECB’s quarter-point hike Thursday follows evidence that its efforts are working by making mortgages and business loans harder to get.

The decision comes a day after the Fed approved a quarter-point increase and hinted that it may have reached the end of its hiking cycle.

But the central bank for the 20 countries that use the euro currency started later and may still have further to go even as economic growth slows to a crawl and U.S. bank instability stirs new fears of financial turmoil.

Market observers are waiting for ECB President Christine Lagarde’s news conference for clues about the bank’s future steps, especially with inflation still high at 7 per cent.