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Bank of Korea holds policy rate at 1.50%

Bank of Korea kept its base rate unchanged at 1.50%, citing moderate inflationary pressures and expectations of strong domestic growth due to buoyant exports.

"As it is forecast that inflationary pressures on the demand side will not be high for the time being, while the domestic economy is expected to continue its solid growth, the board will maintain its accommodative monetary policy stance," the Korean central bank's monetary policy board said in its Feb. 27 decision.

Consumer price inflation, which slowed to 1%, is likely to remain in the low- to mid-1% range "for some time" before it will gradually rise to the mid-2% level from the second half of 2018.

The central bank anticipates domestic economic growth to be "generally consistent" with the 3% growth forecast for 2018 it projected in January. However, the bank said investment will slow.

Looking ahead, the bank said factors that would affect global economic growth are moves toward monetary policy normalization in major countries, the U.S. government's economic policies, and trade protectionism.

Governor Lee Ju-yeol ends his four-year term March 31. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has not yet revealed his successor.