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As expected, the British MPC left the interest rates unchanged at 0.50%, and the quantitative easing program at 200 billion pounds. GBP/USD is ticking down in range, hardly moving.

These British rate decisions have become non-events, leaving the action for the meeting minutes.

Earlier today, the UK economy saw an encouraging sign from the manufacturing sector. Production jumped by 1.8%, better than expected, and correcting a big drop last time. But this point of light is far from the real picture, which is dark.

Current market expectations stand on a hike only in the summer of 2012.

In Europe, rate decisions are celebrated: a lengthy press conference with Jean-Claude Trichet supplies lots of action to the markets. It also supplies information of how the central bank sees the current situation, and provides hints for the future.

In the US, a press conference that accompanies the statement is rather new. Apart from the headlines that Bernanke provides, the statement is usually of interest as well.

In Britain, a significant statement is only released when there is a policy change. The real action appears only with the release of the meeting minutes, which usually gives hints about the future.

Pound/dollar is stuck under the 1.60 line. Support is at 1.5910 and resistance at 1.6110, if the pair moves away from this pivotal line.

For more on the pound, see the GBP/USD forecast.