The Bank of England said Thursday it would maintain its overnight lending rate at 0.5 percent and continue with its $581.3 billion asset purchasing program. The bank\'s policy making committee holds off on explaining policy decisions for three weeks. At that point, it releases minutes to the most recent meeting. Minutes to Thursday\'s meeting would be published May 22, the central bank said. It was widely expected that the BOE would leave its policy unchanged, despite the recent European Central Bank move to lower its lending rate from 0.75 percent to 0.5 percent, citing a prolonged slump in the economy in the 17-member currency region known as the eurozone.