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 ($540.13 billion) asset purchase program. Both decisions were widely expected, as the outlook for U.K. growth and inflation has been bruised by the jitters in the energy markets and the world economy. The Monetary Policy Committee voted 8-1 to keep rates at 0.5% where they have stood since March 2009, but voted unanimously to keep it's QE program unchanged. "Recent volatility in financial markets has underlined the downside risks to global growth, primarily emanating from emerging markets," the central bank said in minutes from its meeting. The pound wavered in the first minutes after the decision, but then started to move higher. It traded at $1.4422 at the latest, up from around $1.4391 ahead of the rate announcement and higher than the $1.4407 recorded late Wednesday in New York.
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