Bank of England policymakers on Thursday called a halt-- for now -- to the central bank's 200 billion pound ($319 billion) series of bond purchases, opting to weigh the impact of its money-creating, quantitative easing program on the British economy. In a statement, the Monetary Policy Committee said it stood ready to resume the purchases if necessary, but noted it expects a "gradual recovery in the level of activity." The British pound trimmed an earlier loss versus the U.S. dollar to change hands at $1.5862, down 0.2% on the day.