The pound was firmer in midday trading Wednesday after the Bank of England's chief economist signalled he was in favor of tightening monetary policy later this year.

The pound was up 0.55% against the dollar at 12:42BST to $1.2698, after hitting a low of $1.2589 earlier in the day.

BoE Chief Economist Andy Haldane said "if data was still on track" pulling back on the stimulus programs "would be prudent in the second half of the year."

During a speech in Yorkshire, England he gave six reason for tightening monetary policy - global growth, the diminishing risk of populist and protectionist politics, reduced risk of deflation, signs that business investment may increase, a faster than expected rise in inflation and the fact that an tightening would be modest.

"Having weighed the evidence, I think that the balance of risks associated with tightening "too early", on the one hand, and "too late", on the other, has swung materially towards the latter in the past six to nine months," he said.

"The risks of tightening 'too early' have shrunk as growth and, to lesser extent, inflation have shown greater resilience than expected. And if policy tightened "too late", this could result in a much steeper path of rate rises later on."

He said he had not voted to increase rates at the June meeting, although three MPC members had.

BoE Governor Mark Carney sent the pound tumbling Tuesday after he said it wasn't the time to raise interest rates.

"From my perspective, given the mixed signals on consumer spending and business investment, and given the still subdued domestic inflationary pressures, in particular anaemic wage growth, now is not yet the time to begin that adjustment," Carney said. "In the coming months, I would like to see the extent to which weaker consumption growth is offset by other components of demand, whether wages begin to firm, and more generally, how the economy reacts to the prospect of tighter financial conditions and the reality of Brexit negotiations."

The BoE launched a three-pronged stimulus package after the UK's Brexit vote, cutting rates to record lows, re-starting QE and launching a cheap funding scheme for retail banks in August.