September 13, 2018 / 8:59 AM / 7 days ago

Sterling pauses near 1-month highs before BoE decision

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

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

LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Sterling held steady near highs on Thursday before a monetary policy announcement later in the day, when the Bank of England looks almost certain to keep interest rates unchanged after raising them last month.

In early London trading, the British currency traded at $1.3045, below a more than one-month high of $1.3087 hit earlier in the week. Against the euro, sterling was flat at 89.09 pence.

Economists polled by Reuters all expect the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to vote 9-0 to leave interest rates at 0.75 percent. Most do not predict a further rate rise until after Britain leaves the European Union in March 2019.

“We don’t expect the September policy statement to make any judgment calls on Brexit as the central bank will undoubtedly want to avoid becoming politicised at a vital juncture,” ING strategists said in a note.

Britain will publish advice to businesses and the public on Thursday about how to cope with the disruption that exiting the European Union without a divorce deal would cause to everything from mobile phone roaming charges to vehicle standards.

While recent signals from Brussels have pointed to renewed confidence that Britain and the EU can agree a deal to govern trading relations, divisions within May’s government over the terms of the divorce continue to rattle markets, and the pound has lurched on almost every Brexit-related headline in the past week.

Positive economic data in Britain published this week, including relatively strong GDP numbers, have been pushed into the background.

Ahead of the policy decision, implied volatility on sterling — gauges of expected swings in the British currency — took a step back after rising to a near seven-month high on Wednesday. (Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; editing by John Stonestreet)

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