European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled that euro zone interest rates are unlikely to rise next month but left the door firmly open for an increase in July.
Trichet did not use the phrase "strong vigilance" in his opening remarks at a news conference which followed the ECB's decision to leave rates at 1.25 per cent, after raising them in April to end two years of crisis-induced loose policy.
In the past, the ECB regularly used the phrase to signal a hike was only a month away and Trichet did so in March, a month before the central bank raised rates from the record low ONE percent at which they had been held since May 2009.
"We will continue to monitor very closely all developments with respect to upside risks to price stability," Trichet said.
However, he added that the ECB could move policy any month it saw fit. "We are never precommitted."
Ahead of the meeting, analysts said a repeat of the language Trichet used in April, when he said the ECB would "monitor very closely" inflation risks, would signal a July move.
City A.M. Reporter