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South Korea central bank cuts rates to record low as pandemic hits economy

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South Korea's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low on Thursday in its second easing this year, in an effort to shore up the economy wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic.

[SEOUL] South Korea's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low on Thursday in its second easing this year, in an effort to shore up the economy wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bank of Korea's board voted to cut the base rate by 25 basis points to 0.50 per cent, the lowest since the bank adopted the current policy system in 1999. The cut was predicted by 12 of 19 analysts in a Reuters survey.

The BOK carried out an emergency 50 basis point cut in March and pledged unlimited liquidity through June via repurchase agreements.

Governor Lee Ju Yeol holds a news conference that will be livestreamed at 0220 GMT where he may announce revised growth and inflation forecasts, as well as additional policy measures such as government bond purchases.

REUTERS

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