Banking & Finance

Bank of England Keeps Lending Rate Unchanged

The Bank of England announced on Thursday that its key lending rate would remain unchanged, and it made no changes to its planned asset purchases.

The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee left the so-called bank rate at a record low 0.5%, where it has stood since March 2009. Furthermore, the bank remains on track to bring total asset purchases, the key part of its quantitative-easing strategy, to 375 billion pounds ($583 billion).

This followed on the decision Wednesday by U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee to “closely monitor” economic data and financial developments. That disappointed investors hoping for a more definitive sign of additional monetary easing.

So the focus turns to Thursday’s policy announcement from the European Central Bank. Investors are looking for ECB President Mario Draghi to act on his recent pledge to take concrete steps to preserve the euro. Many economists expect the ECB to resume government bond purchases, despite objections by Germany’s Bundesbank.

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