SEOUL, Sept 12 (Reuters) - South Korea's central bank kept interest rates unchanged for a fourth consecutive month, as expected, while Asian markets positioned for a batch of regional rate decisions on Thursday and the U.S. Federal Reserve's verdict next week on tapering stimulus.
The Bank of Korea's monetary policy committee held its base rate steady at 2.50 percent, a media official said without elaborating. Governor Kim Choong-soo is due to hold a news conference from 11:20 a.m. (0220 GMT).
- Full story
- Reuters survey: All 22 analysts in a Reuters survey before the decision forecast the central bank would hold rates steady and most expected rates to be raised sometime in 2014.
- CHRONOLOGY on past rate changes
- PREVIEW on Thursday's policy reviews in South Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia and the Philippines
SUN YOO, ECONOMIST, WOORI INVESTMENT & SECURITIES
'I do not think the tapering (decision) will have any additional influence on the Korean markets. Markets have already expected it and realise it does not mean an end in QE but only slowing in speed (of bond buying).'
'The BOK will hold the rate steady through the first half of next year and I am expecting a hike in the third quarter of 2014.'
KIM JONG-SU, ECONOMIST, NH INVESTMENT & SECURITIES
'Given lingering uncertainties surrounding the Fed's tapering, the Bank of Korea will find it difficult to move its policy independently. Until tapering is over, as markets expect it around the middle of next year, the rates will be held steady.'
- Seoul markets showed muted reaction to the widely expected decision, with traders now waiting for the governor's news conference.
- The won was up 0.4 percent on the day at 1,082.0 per dollar as of 0110 GMT and September futures on 3-year treasury bonds rose 0.06 points to 105.74. Seoul shares were nearly flat at 2,002.37 points.
(Reporting by Christine Kim, Ju-min Park, Narae Kim; Editing by Choonsik Yoo) Keywords: KOREA ECONOMY/RATES
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