Friday, the Bank of England said mortgages approved in the UK totaled 39,230 in March, larger than February's 37,716. Economists had expected mortgage approvals to come in at 40,000 in March.

Net lending to individuals increased GBP 0.9 billion in March, lower than the February increase of GBP 1.5 billion and below the previous six-month average. Meanwhile, the increase in net lending secured on dwellings was GBP 0.8 billion compared to GBP 1.4 billion last month.

Further, the central bank said consumer credit rose a net GBP 0.1 billion, unchanged from revised February figures, but stood below the previous six month average.

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