U.K.’s FTSE 100 opens 0.3% higher at 7,576.86

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Bank of England holds key rate at 0.5% in 6-3 vote; pound surges

The Bank of England on Thursday left its key interest rate at 0.5%, meeting widely held expectations. But the vote was 6-3, a change from the bank’s prior tally of 7-2 to make no changes in policy. Thursday’s decision comes as inflation has slowed to a 2.4% rate but is still above the bank’s 2% target. “Inflation is expected to pick up by slightly more than projected in May in the near term, reflecting higher dollar oil prices and a weaker sterling exchange rate,” the bank said in a statement. The size of the bank’s asset purchase program was held at £435 billion ($570 billion). The pound jumped to $1.3206 from $1.3125 just before the decision was released. Sterling late Wednesday traded at $1.3173.

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