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Sterling steadies just above $1.30

* Graphic: sterling and gilt yields http://bit.ly/2dgAXn1

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote http://tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv

LONDON, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Sterling steadied close to a 2-1/2-week low against the dollar on Wednesday, having lost around 2 percent since the Bank of England voted last week voted 6-2 to keep interest rates on hold at their record lows.

The pound had been supported in recent weeks by the view that the BoE would hike rates - perhaps even by the end of this year - after policymakers at the Bank made a series of hawkish comments.

But despite BoE rate-setters last week trying to drive home the message that interest rates are likely to rise, the market interpreted the message as dovish, focusing on the Bank's downward revisions of growth and inflation forecasts.

The pound strengthened 0.3 percent to 90.15 pence per euro , having hit a 10-month low the previous day, as investors bet the European Central Bank was moving towards tightening while the BoE keeps rates on hold as Britain negotiates its way out of the European Union.

Sterling had been performing better against the dollar, hitting an 11-month high last week of $1.3267, but investors said that was mainly down to broad dollar weakness. It dipped back below $1.30 on Tuesday and on Wednesday was up just 0.1 percent on the day at $1.3004.

"It would take a lot for the market to change its 'Brexit bias'; even the sound of the UK accepting a transition period did little to turn the tide," said Nomura currency strategist Jordan Rochester.

Rochester said market focus next week will be on UK consumer price inflation data, which is due along with wages and retail sales numbers, though he suggested that a lower-than-expected number was likely to have more impact that a higher-than-expected one.

"Given high inflation previously was not enough to convince the Bank of England to hike, any disappointment in the release should further reduce the already low market pricing of a future Bank of England hike, and any upward surprise will likely be met with 'it wont hike either way'," he said.

Against the safe-haven Swiss franc, which was on track for its biggest one-day rise against the euro since January 2015 due to worries over an escalation of tensions between the United States and North Korea, sterling was down over 1 percent on the day at a two-week low.

Data on Tuesday showed British retail sales grew more slowly in July, as shoppers cut back on non-essential spending and budgeted for the higher price of food following last year's Brexit vote.

"Last week, the BoE expressed Brexit concerns it sees undermining the economy. Sterling remains a sell against the dollar and a corrective top will be confirmed by a break of $1.2930," wrote Morgan Stanley strategists in a research note.

(Editing by Alison Williams)