Czech cbank keeps rates near zero, focus on crown

PRAGUE, March 28 Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:01am EDT

PRAGUE, March 28 (Reuters) - The Czech central bank (CNB) kept interest rates near zero on Thursday, and investors awaited hints from an afternoon news conference on whether the central bank was considering intervening to weaken the crown currency.

Having cut the key two-week repo rate to 0.05 percent in November, the bank has said it can cut no lower and will start selling crowns if it needs to ease further to fend off deflationary pressures.

Crown weakening in the past weeks, however, partially triggered by the Cyprus crisis, has dampened the bank's need to intervene. Governor Miroslav Singer was due to hold a news conference at 1330 GMT.

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