The Bank of England on Thursday kept its main lending rate at a record low of 0.5%, where it has stood since March 2009, and made no changes to its 375-billion-pound ($568.68 billion) asset-purchases program. The Monetary Policy Committee voted 8-1 to keep rates unchanged, arguing that inflation remains subdued and is likely to stay below 1% until the second half of next year. "All members agree that, given the likely persistence of the headwinds weighing on the economy, when bank rate does begin to rise, it is expected to do so more gradually and to a lower level than in recent cycles," the MPC said in the minutes from the policy-setting meeting. The pound extended its loss after the BOE decision, fetching $1.5148, down from $1.5179 ahead of the report.
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