[SEOUL] South Korea's central bank cut interest rates for the first time in five months on Thursday in a surprise move, joining the ranks of other economies which have recently eased monetary policy to boost sluggish growth.
The Bank of Korea's monetary policy committee cut its base rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 1.75 per cent, a media official said without elaborating. Governor Lee Ju-yeol is due to hold a news conference from 11:20 am (0220 GMT).
Only four out of the 33 analysts polled by Reuters ahead of the decision had forecast the central bank would cut rates on Thursday. However, 19 of those who saw a hold in March forecast the bank would cut rates in April or sometime later in the second quarter.