The FTSE was steady at midday, with corporate earnings still the main focus of the day after the Bank of England's announcement on interest rates and quantitative easing brought no surprises.

The BoE voted to inject another 50 billion pounds into the financial system and left its key interest rate at a record low - in line with economists' expectations - as part of its efforts to shore up a fragile recovery in the economy.

We don't expect a big reaction from the market, probably a big part of this is already priced in, said UniCredit Research economist, Mauro Giorgio Marrano.

They expect a gradual improvement in the second half of the year, so if this improvement doesn't happen that could be a trigger for a new round of QE.

The BoE announcement followed mixed macro data earlier.

British industrial output recovered more than forecast in December, further dampening fears of recession. But the report also showed a 1.4 percent drop in overall industrial production in the fourth quarter, a slightly bigger decline than originally assumed for the GDP growth figures.

The decision also came after inflation fell from the three-year peak of 5.2 percent in September to 4.2 percent in December, which gave the Monetary Policy Committee scope for more stimulus.

At 1218 GMT, The UK FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was up 9.97 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,886.01 points, stuck in a tight weekly range of between 5,850.49 and 5,946.20. Trading volume was light as investors were reluctant to add to the recent rally until there is greater visibility on Greece's debt situation.

All eyes will be on what the European Central Bank is willing to do to help Greece when the central bank briefs the markets after its monthly policy meeting later on Thursday.

However, with political negotiations in Athens still ongoing, the ECB's chairman Mario Draghi was expected to remain tightlipped as to whether the central bank was prepared to forgo its profits on the 50 billion euros worth of Greek government debt it holds.

The ECB is due to announce its rate decision at 1245 GMT, with no change expected, and hold a press conference at 1330 GMT.


Integrated oil & gas stocks <.FTNMX0530> added most index points after strong results and outlook from BG Group , which was up 2.8 percent.

With this outlook for strong organic production growth, continued LNG earnings upside, Brazilian reserves upside and heightened exploration activity we continue to recommend BG as a core holding in any energy portfolio, said Bernstein analyst Oswald Clint, noting that the firm's profit figure was flattered by a low tax rate.

Keeping gains in check were miners <.FTNMX1770>, which shed 0.9 percent following a disappointing report from Rio Tinto , which fell 1.9 percent.

Drugmaker Shire was also a casualty, down 1.7 percent after releasing its fourth-quarter results at midday, with strong earnings as expected and the stock having put in a good performance ahead of the numbers.

Investment manager Hargreaves Lansdown was bottom of the blue-chip table, falling 3.6 percent after recording a 13 percent drop in net new business during its first half year to December 31 as economic gloom and falling stock markets hit investor sentiment.

Among other blue chip fallers after results and trading updates on Wednesday, aero enginemaker Rolls-Royce dropped 2.8 percent, British Land fell 3.4 percent, and Tate & Lyle shed 3.4 percent.

(Editing by Sophie Walker)