British government bond yields rose, the pound cut some of its earlier losses, and UK shares pared gains on Thursday after the Bank of England held rates steady and said it wanted more evidence inflation would return to target before lowering rates.

The pound was last down 0.1% against the dollar at $1.2674, compared with $1.2635 before the decision. It was at 85.32 per euro, nearly flat on the day, having been weaker at 85.58 pence before the decision.

Six out of nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted to keep rates at a 15-year high of 5.25%. Two voted for a 0.25 percentage-point hike, while one voted for a cut of the same size.

"I think the market is very focused on the voting pattern and that two members still voting for a hike, has led the market into thinking that there was a slightly hawkish element. If you remove the voting pattern much of the rhetoric is fairly unsurprising," said Jane Foley head of FX strategy at Rabobank.

It marked the first time since August 2008 - early in the global financial crisis - that different policymakers have voted to move interest rates up and down at the same meeting.

Traders reduced bets on BoE rate cuts in May after the meeting. Pricing in derivatives markets last indicated roughly a 50% chance of a rate cut by May, having implied roughly a two-thirds chance before the meeting.

In a notable softening of its language, the BoE dropped its warning that "further tightening" would be required if more persistent inflation pressure emerged.

But, said BoE Governor Andrew Bailey, who voted to hold rates steady: "We need to see more evidence that inflation is set to fall all the way to the 2% target, and stay there, before we can lower interest rates,"

The 10-year British government bond yield, or gilt, was up around 2 basis points on the day at 3.82% having been at 3.79% before the decision.

Britain's blue chip FTSE share index was up 0.35%, paring some of its earlier gains after the meeting.

(Reporting by the London markets team; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe and Hugh Lawson)