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The pound weakened as minutes of the Bank of England’s March 10 showed fewer dissenting policy makers calling for an interest-rate increase than some investors predicted.
Policy makers voted 6-3 to keep rates steady on March 10 and saw “merit in waiting” to assess the effect of higher oil prices on the economy, the Bank of England minutes showed.
“There was some hope that another voter could go for a rate hike this month,” Nomura’s Kendrick said. “There is some disappointment that it was still a 6-3 split.”
The euro, dollar and yen were little changed versus each other.
The franc appreciated before a Portuguese vote that may push the nation to an early election and European bailout, boosting demand for the safest assets.
EU leaders are divided over how to let the euro-region stopgap fund spend its full capacity of 440 billion euros ($624 billion) to ease credit woes as a March 24-25 summit approaches. Policy makers have settled on a permanent rescue fund able to lend 500 billion euros as of 2013.
US data starts at 1400GMT, when the pace of new home sales is expected to rise to a 290,000 annual rate in February after sharp movements in the previous two months. The pace of home sales remains well below its year ago level, even this far into the recovery. The weekly EIA Crude Oil Stocks data then follows at 1430GMT.
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