ECB and BOE Leave Rates On Hold

The ECB and BOE left interest rates in the eurozone and UK on hold, as was widely expected Thursday.

In the UK rates have now been left at 0.5 percent for the last twelve consecutive months.

The BOE also resisted the temptation to announce any further QE measures, presumably content with the recent demise of the pound over the past few weeks. They will be hoping that will go some way towards stimulating the economy in itself.

The flip side of a weak currency is of course rising import costs. Inflation reached a 14-month high of 3.5 percent in January because of the drop in sterling and increases in VAT and fuel costs.

BOE governor Mervyn King will be looking for inflation to slip back towards his 2 percent target, and probably get the election out of the way, before considering more QE in the second half of 2010.

The MPC decision will also have been aided by positive manufacturing and consumer confidence data from earlier in the week.

Both the pound and euro were little changed as the news broke, as both decisions were widely anticipated.