Bank Of England Holds Key Rate Steady At 0.5%

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The Bank of England made no changes to monetary policy at its meeting on Thursday, as expected, maintaining its lending rate at a record low of 0.5%. The rate has now been at the level for six years, since March 2009. The bank's quantitative-easing program was also left unchanged at 375 billion pounds ($571.4 billion). Minutes from Thursday's meeting will be released on March 18. The pound traded at $1.5246 after the rate decision, compared with $1.5266 late Wednesday in New York. The FTSE 100 index held gains, rising 0.4% to 6,947.61.

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