Bank Of England Holds Key Rate At 0.5% In Unanimous Decision

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The Bank of England on Thursday kept its key interest rate at a record low of 0.5% and made no changes to its 375-billion-pound ($548 billion) asset purchase program. Both decisions were widely expected, as the outlook for U.K. growth and inflation has been hurt by the slide in oil prices. The Monetary Policy Committee voted 9-0 to keep the key rate where it's been since March 2009. "The MPC judges that inflation expectations remain well anchored, though it remains watchful for signs that low inflation is having more persistent second-round effects on wages," the BOE's monetary policy committee said in a statement. The pound fell, buying $1.4565 compared with $1.4600 just before the announcement. The pound earlier hit an intraday high of $1.4668, according to FactSet, as the dollar extended losses in a selloff that began Wednesday.

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