October 18, 2018 / 1:02 AM / a month ago

S.Korea central bank holds rates amid growth risks, trade tensions

SEOUL, Oct 18 (Reuters) - South Korea’s central bank kept monetary policy steady on Thursday for a seventh straight meeting, as it assessed new signs of softness in the economy and the potential fallout from global trade frictions.

The Bank of Korea decided to keep its benchmark seven-day repurchase rate at 1.50 percent, as was expected by 14 of 21 economists in a Reuters poll.

Policymakers are grappling with falling external demand and a weaker job market, while the trade fight between the U.S. and China, South Korea’s two biggest trading partners, has raised concerns about the outlook for the export-dependent economy.

Governor Lee Ju-yeol is due to hold a news conference starting at 0220 GMT. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim and Hayoung Choi; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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