ECB Raises Rates by Half-Percentage Point in First Hike Since 2011

FRANKFURT—The European Central Bank raised interest rates by a larger-than-expected half-percentage point and unveiled a new plan to buy the debt of Europe’s most vulnerable economies, seeking to protect the currency union as it navigates the twin threats of skyrocketing inflation and slowing economic growth.

The move takes the ECB’s key interest rate to zero, ending the bloc’s eight-year experiment with negative interest rates and capping two weeks of drama for Europe, which saw Russia cut and then restart the supply of vital natural gas, along with the collapse of Italy’s government.

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