South Korea freezes policy rate at record low

Seoul, Oct 15 (IANS) South Korea’s central bank on Thursday decided to freeze its benchmark interest rate at a record low, keeping a wait-and-see stance for four straight months as the US Federal Reserve is expected to raise its policy rate within a couple of months.

Bank of Governor (BOK) Lee Ju-yeol and six other monetary policy board members agreed to keep the seven-day repurchase rate on hold at an all-time low of 1.5 percent, reported Xinhua.

They cut it by a quarter percentage point in March and June respectively.

Despite concerns about lackluster economic data at home and economic slowdown abroad, experts predicted the rate freeze by the BOK ahead of the expected rate hike in the United States.

According to a Korea Financial Investment Association survey of 113 fixed-income analysts, 85 percent expected a BOK rate freeze this month.

The remaining 15 percent projected a rate cut on worries about the economic slump at home and abroad.

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