BOE Remains Steady

The U.K. central bank kept monetary policy unchanged on Monday, as the stronger-than-expected Conservative electoral victory refocused markets on the possible date of the first interest rate hike.

The Bank of England held its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent, where it has stayed since March 2009. It also kept the size of its bond purchases under the quantitative easing program at £375 billion ($578 billion).

The bank’s policy announcement was delayed because of last Thursday’s general election, in which the incumbent Conservative Party gained enough votes to take a majority in parliament. This meant the center-right party was able to shed its coalition partner, the Liberal Democrat party, of the previous government.