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(LEAD) BOK holds key rate steady at 1.25 pct in April

All News 11:00 April 13, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with statement of BOK monetary policy board)

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's central bank on Thursday held its key rate steady for April to support the country's growth, despite a recent U.S. rate hike.

The Bank of Korea kept its policy rate at an all-time low of 1.25 percent for the 10th consecutive month in April after dropping the rate to its lowest level to bolster Asia's fourth-biggest economy.

The BOK's Monetary Policy Board said the domestic economy is likely to continue its trend of moderate growth going forward.

"As the inflationary pressures on the demand side are not expected to be high given the moderate pace of domestic economic growth, the board will maintain its stance of monetary policy accommodation," the board said in an English-language statement.

It also vowed to closely monitor conditions related to trade with major countries, geopolitical risks, the progress of monetary policy normalization by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the trend of increases in household debt.

Last month, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its key rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a target range of 0.75 to 1 percent. It also signaled that additional hikes would be made in a gradual manner later this year.

The BOK has said that the U.S. rate increase does not necessarily mean it will immediately raise its interest rates. The BOK does not hold a monetary policy meeting in March.

In June last year, South Korea's central bank made a surprise rate cut, citing a need to stimulate the lackluster economy amid a prolonged economic slowdown.


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