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Currency falls, London stocks up after British rate rise

Weakness in sterling, in turn, boosted London's main stock market index where exporters stand to gain from a falling currency.

British government bonds also rose as traders prepared for the Bank's monetary policy committee (MPC) keeping rates steady for the foreseeable future.

"A dovish rate hike from the Bank of England on Thursday has triggered a sell-off in the pound while yields on UK debt have also fallen," said Craig Erlam at OANDA.

"The impression that the MPC has given is this is a 'one and done' rate hike," Erlam said.


- 'Opposite reaction' -

Earlier, Bank of England policymakers voted 7-2 to tighten borrowing costs to 0.50 percent from a record low of 0.25 percent, as a weak pound caused by Brexit uncertainty has hiked the cost of imports into Britain and in turn sent the country's inflation rising far above the BoE's target.

"Under normal circumstances, such an auspicious event would have immediately elevated sterling and boosted sentiment towards the UK economy, however, we are seeing a completely opposite reaction," noted Marianna Sofocleous at FXTM.

"With the central bank cautioning that future rate increases will be 'at a gradual pace' and to 'a limited extent', this is clearly a dovish hike which has raised questions over the future path of interest rates beyond November," she said.

Other European stock markets were modestly weaker, while Wall Street stood little changed moments after the opening bell in New York.


In the United States, all eyes are now on President Donald Trump's choice to replace Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen, with the smart money on the governor of the central bank, Jerome Powell, to succeed her.

Investors were looking also to the imminent US House Republicans' tax reform announcement.

- Next hike in US? -

As expected, the Fed on Wednesday kept US interest rates unchanged as it reported that the world's biggest economy was growing at a "solid pace".

That statement solidified the view the US central bank is likely to raise interest rates in December, in turn boosting the dollar.


On the corporate front, the world's biggest company, Apple, was due to release earnings Thursday.

New York markets meanwhile remained hopeful that Trump's ambitious tax plans are moving closer to becoming reality, but a delay in the roll-out signalled potential trouble ahead.

- Key figures around 1340 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,521.22 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 13,449.08


Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 5,501.04

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,685.17

New York - DOW: FLAT at 23,441.44

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 22,539.12 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 28,518.64 (close)


Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,383.31 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1652 from $1.1625 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3209 from $1.3252

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 114.06 yen from 114.07 yen

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 12 cents at $60.37 per barrel


Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2 cents at $54.28


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