Bank Of England Surprises By Leaving Key Rate Unchanged At 0.5%

By Carla MozeeMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

The Bank of England on Thursday unexpectedly left unchanged its key interest rate at a record low of 0.5%. It also made no changes to its 375-billion-pound ($495 billion) asset-purchase program. Markets had overwhelmingly priced in chances of a rate cut, which would've been the first since March 2009. The decision marked the first after the June 23 referendum in the U.K. that set the country on course to exit the European Union. The rate-setting policy makers voted 8-1 to leave policy unchanged. "In the absence of a further worsening in the trade-off between supporting growth and returning inflation to target on a sustainable basis, most members of the Committee expect monetary policy to be loosened in August," the BOE said in a statement. The pound jumped to $1.3424 from $1.3221 before the BOE's policy decision was announced.

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