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US futures sharply higher after Bank of England leaves rates unchanged

U.S. stock-index futures rose sharply on Thursday after the Bank of England left interest rates unchanged.

Market consensus was for a 25 basis point rate cut to 0.25 percent, which would've been the bank's first move since 2009. That said, the bank did hint at looser monetary policy in August.

Dow futures were up about 150 points, while S&P and Nasdaq futures held higher by 16 points and 30 points, respectively.

Theresa May was formally installed as U.K. prime minister on Wednesday evening, ending the uncertainty regarding who would lead the country after David Cameron announced his resignation. May is viewed as a steady pair of hands to lead the country through difficult Brexit negotiations with the European Union (EU).

"Since the surprise vote to leave the EU, the U.K. economic outlook has darkened, with early indications of a marked deterioration in sentiment and anecdotal evidence that firms are putting investment and recruitment decisions on ice," Mantas Vanagas, economist at Daiwa Capital Markets, said in a note on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average set a record high again on Wednesday, notching up a four-day winning streak. Gains followed overnight in Asian and in European equity trade early on Thursday. However, the Singapore Exchange was halted due to a systems glitch.

Tuesday's Wall Street trade

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
DJIA
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S&P 500
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NASDAQ
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The focus in the U.S. was be on second-quarter earnings and the latest weekly jobless claims.

BlackRock posted quarterly results in line with expectations, while JPMorgan Chase easily beat estimates.

Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims remained unchanged at 254,000, while the producer price index (PPI) for June rose 0.5 percent, more than the expected gain of 0.3 percent.

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—With contribution from CNBC's Patti Domm.