Bank of England keeps rates unchanged

At the latest meeting, seven members voted to keep interest rates on hold and two, Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders, voted for an increase.

Analysts, who had estimated the US could impose a fine of up to $12 billion, said the bank could reinstate a dividend.

As for the near-term, it is worth remembering that any move after the Bank's announcement can be swiftly reversed, as it was on February 8 - the last time a decision was accompanied by publication of an Inflation Report.

Nevertheless, the GBP/CAD exchange rate could find a rallying point on Friday afternoon if April's raft of Canadian jobs and wage data fails to impress.

Carney said the bank's nine-member rate-setting body thinks the "underlying pace of growth remains more resilient than the headline data suggest".

The Bank of England Announced Unchanged Monetary Policy.

Up until a couple of weeks ago it appeared inevitable that we would see a rise in United Kingdom rates of 25 basis points to 0.75%, which would have been the first time that rates would have shifted above 0.5% since they were slashed to their current levels in 2008. "For borrowers approaching the end of their fixed terms and on tracker rates, the next few weeks could be crucial for looking at remortgage deals that could offer the security of a longer-term fixed option before the expected rate rises hit".

"We'll have found out the decision on the UK's divorce settlement from the European Union by October and the Bank can make any decisions with this in mind", Brandreth said.

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The minutes of this week's monetary policy committee meeting show that rate rises are still being planned in order to meet the government's 2% inflation target, but the language was notably softer than in February when the Bank said policy would probably need to be tightened earlier and to a greater extent than the markets were expecting.

Let's wait and see how the economy develops until we give any firm guidance on the path of interest rates beyond the Bank's often used formulation of some limited rises "over the forecast period" of the next three years.

In 2014 one United Kingdom lawmaker likened the Bank to an "unreliable boyfriend", a label that has stuck and which, judging by Carney's news conference on Thursday, clearly irritates him.

The pound has slipped after the Bank of England held interest rates and investors priced in a lower likelihood that there would be an increase any time soon.

Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International, explains: "Until a few weeks ago, a further quarter point rate hike to 0.75% looked nearly guaranteed". The lower 2018 growth prediction reflected the early weakness, Bloomberg said. The Bank of England has marched investors up to the top of the hill only to march them back down again.

And while Brexit-fuelled inflation has fallen sharper than expected in recent months, the Bank said rate hikes would still be needed over the next three years, with cost pressures building in the economy. This may be prudent but it risks the Bank being short of firepower come the next downturn.

He added that, 'While the storms of February and March have given way to sunnier skies, the economic outlook for the United Kingdom remains clouded by Brexit uncertainties.


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