SEOUL, July 10 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
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
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)