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HIGHLIGHTS-Carney speaks after Bank of England keeps rates on hold

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The Bank of England kept interest rates steady on Thursday, saying signs that Britain's economy had picked up since December's election, and of a stabler global economy, meant more stimulus was not needed now.

Here are highlights of Governor Mark Carney's press conference after the announcement.

WILL THE DECADE START WITH A BANG?

"Overall, UK activity has likely stagnated in the final quarter of 2019, meaning the economy was operating with a margin of excess supply. In parallel, the CPI inflation fell below the MPC's 2% target, reaching 1.4% in the fourth quarter.

"So the question facing the MPC at this meeting was whether the new decade would start with a bang. Certainly, political developments have been significant, leading to the UK's historic withdrawal from the European Union tomorrow."

UK ECONOMIC DATA: EARLY DAYS

"To be clear, these are still early days. It is less of a case of so far, so good, than so far, good enough."

RISKS TO GROWTH: TRADE AND CORONAVIRUS

"Evidence of a pick-up in growth is not yet widespread, and any one of the known risks, such as a renewal of trade tension, could reverse recent progress.

"The emerging threat from a new strain of coronavirus is a reminder of the need to be vigilant."

UK: STRUCTURAL CHANGE AHEAD

"The UK is entering a decade of potentially profound structural change."

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova, editing by Estelle Shirbon)