The Bank of England is due to deliver its own decision on rates at 7 a.m. The benchmark rate has for almost five years been at historic low 0.50% and the next movement is expected to be up.
After the Tokyo market closed, electronics and media group Sony (SNE) announced it would sell off its Vaio-branded PC business to Japan Industrial Partners and also split out its struggling TV unit into a standalone company, a move which is widely seen as a prelude to an eventual sale. Sony, the target of an activist campaign last year by Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC, also unexpectedly warned of a 110 billion yen ($1.1 billion) net loss in the year ending March, whereas it had in October predicted a 30 billion yen profit.
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