Eurozone rates on hold but ECBpaves the way for exit strategy

INTEREST rates were kept on hold at one per cent yesterday in the eurozone but a more upbeat European Central Bank (ECB) cheered markets. <br /><br />ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said there had been some improvement in the economic situation but stressed the need to remain prudent and cautious. <br /><br />He said that while data was more positive, yesterday&rsquo;s September retail sales were disappointing. <br /><br />Official data showed that sales volumes fell 0.7 per cent month on month.<br /><br />Trichet added that given the improved conditions, not all of the central bank&rsquo;s liquidity measures would be needed to the same extent and that the extraordinary liquidity measures taken are phased out in a timely and gradual fashion.&rdquo;