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UPDATE 1-Pound tumbles, stocks edge higher after BOE holds rates

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LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Sterling extended losses on Thursday, posting its biggest one-day drop against the greenback in more than six weeks, after the Bank of England squashed market expectations by holding interest rates steady.

Bond futures ticked higher and the main FTSE index was up 0.5% after the decision, with bank shares predictably the biggest losers.

Seven of the central bank’s nine policymakers voted to hold off a rate rise for now, so they could see the how many people became unemployed following the recent end of the government’s job-protecting furlough scheme.

Against the U.S. dollar, the pound fell briefly to the day’s low at $1.3547, down 1% on the day, its biggest single day drop since end-September. It was down 0.2% versus the U.S dollar before the announcement.

Against the euro, the pound was down 0.5% to 85.26 pence.

“Much was built into a hike today, my sense is a hawkish hold rhetoric will ensue & limit the current sell-off.” said Neil Jones, head of FX sales at Mizuho Bank. (Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Sujata Rao and Steve Orlofsky)

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