ECB extends quantitative easing as the policy struggles to provide stimulation

The programme will last until at least March 2017

Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has announced fresh measures to attempt to stimulate the struggling eurozone economy.

Its quantitative easing (QE) programme will last for six months longer than originally intended, running until at least March 2017 - or until "the ECB council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation."

It was revealed yesterday that inflation across the euro bloc was almost stagnant at 0.1% in November - far from the bank's 2% target even after months of QE which has seen the ECB spend €60bn per month buying European bonds.

The ECB's deposit rate on reserves held at the central bank has been cut from -0.2% to -0.3%.

Speaking in Frankfurt, Mr. Draghi said that the ECB will re-invest the proceeds of the bonds which it is holding as they mature - and that it is prepared to buy regional and local government debt within the eurozone, as well as sovereign bonds.

Euro levels spiked as The Financial Times tweeted "ECB leaves rates unchanged in shock decision," this information was incorrect and also broke the ECB's embargo - the newspaper has since apologised and clarified that this was an error.

The euro has risen against the dollar, up from €1 buying $1.06 this morning to $1.08 after the press conference.