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Updated from 7:14 a.m. EDT

LONDON (

TheStreet

) -- The Bank of England left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.5%, a decision that was widely expected, and the European Central Bank followed suit by keeping rates steady.

The ECB's key rate was left unchanged at 1%, also a record low.

The BOE and ECB rate decisions follow the Australian central bank's move earlier this week to increase interest rates.

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-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York

.

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