S.Korea c.bank holds rates for 14th month, as expected

SEOUL, July 10 Wed Jul 9, 2014 8:53pm EDT

SEOUL, July 10 (Reuters) - South Korea's central bank kept its policy interest rate steady for a 14th consecutive policy meeting on Thursday, a widely expected move reflecting its confidence in a sustained recovery, despite recent signs of softening.

The decision came in the face of speculation among bond traders that remarks by the finance minister-nominee asserting an urgent need to boost domestic consumption was a veiled demand for the Bank of Korea to cut interest rates.

The Bank of Korea's monetary policy committee left its base rate unchanged at 2.50 percent, a media official said without elaborating. Governor Lee Ju-yeol is due to hold a news conference from 11:20 a.m. (0220 GMT)

All but two of the 26 analysts surveyed by Reuters late on Tuesday forecast the Bank of Korea would leave its base rate unchanged at 2.50 percent at Thursday's meeting.

Separately, the Bank of Korea is due to release revised economic growth forecasts for 2014 and 2015 later in the day. Its previous forecasts were for Asia's fourth-largest economy to grow 4.0 percent this year and 4.2 percent next year.

Private-sector economists have been downgrading their growth views for South Korea, although by small margins, after indicators showed domestic demand was softening and exports were recovering at a much slower pace than expected. (Reporting by Christine Kim and Choonsik Yoo; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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