British pound whipsaws after mixed messages from the Bank of England

In this photo illustration, the British pound is seen displayed.

Karol Serewis | Lightrocket | Getty Images

The British pound on Wednesday morning recovered losses slightly following a Financial Times report that said the Bank of England is privately signaling a willingness to extend its emergency bond-buying program.

The report, which cited anonymous sources, came on the heels of comments by BOE Governor Andrew Bailey who said the central bank would end the rescue program on Friday as planned.

Speaking at an event organized by the Institute of International Finance in Washington, D.C., late Tuesday, Bailey said that “part of the essence, I think, of a financial stability intervention is that it is clearly temporary.”

The Bank of England did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the FT’s report outside of office hours.

The pound fell as low as $1.0922 in Asia’s morning trade before popping to $1.106 after the FT report was published. It was trading at $1.0988 by 6 a.m. London time Wednesday.

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But Bailey said late Tuesday that the BOE does not intend to continue buying bonds to stabilize the market.

“We have announced that we will be out by the end of this week. We think the rebalancing must be done,” he said.

“And my message to the funds involved and all the firms involved managing those funds: You’ve got three days left now. You’ve got to get this done.”

— CNBC’s Elliot Smith and Jenni Reid contributed to this report.