The Bank of England said Thursday that it would keep its overnight lending rate and its asset purchasing program unchanged. The central bank doesn\'t explain its decisions until policy meeting minutes are released in three weeks but, with British and European economies in a prolonged slump, no change in policy had been expected. The Bank of England said its lending rate would remain at 0.5 percent and it would continue with its $604 billion target for asset purchases. The bank has held its lending rate at a record low of 0.5 percent since March 2009. The asset purchasing program was announced in the same month and extended by $80.5 billion in July 2012.