Rates rise again in euro zone, UK

STORY: Rates rose again in the euro zone and UK on Thursday (February 2).

The European Central Bank lifted its benchmark by another half a percentage point, as widely expected.

That took it to 2.5%, and continues a record streak of hikes.

Bank President Christine Lagarde said high inflation left no choice:

"Headline inflation has gone down and more so than we had expected and that many had expected. But underlying inflation pressure is there."

Lagarde is now under pressure to spell out when rate hikes will slow.

That after the U.S. Federal Reserve this week eased back on the pace of its increases.

On Thursday, Lagarde pencilled in at least one more rise:

"In view of the underlying inflation pressures, we intend to raise interest rates by another 50 basis points at our next monetary policy meeting in March."

There was a similar story over in London, where the Bank of England did its tenth hike in a row.

It too did a half percentage point increase, lifting the benchmark rate to 4%.

But Governor Andrew Bailey did offer hope on inflation, after data showed it edging back from recent peaks:

“We have we have seen a turning of the corner, but it's very early days and the risks are very large.”

The comments prompted investors to dial down bets on further aggressive rate hikes.