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Seoul: Won trims losses, bonds slide after BOK keeps rates on hold; shares flat

[SEOUL] The South Korean won pared losses while bond prices extended falls on Thursday, after South Korea's central bank held its policy interest rates steady, as some investors had priced in expectations of a surprise rate cut.

The Bank of Korea kept interest rates unchanged and sharply cut this year's economic growth and inflation forecasts, but its firm conviction in a sustained recovery took the air out of prospects of an imminent rate cut.

The local currency was quoted at 1,083.3 to the dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, compared with 1,082.2 seen at the end of Wednesday's session, recovering from an intraday trough of 1,087.3 but still closing lower.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 24 basis points to trade at 108.46.

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South Korean shares closed nearly unchanged on Thursday after a rangebound trading session, as jitters over sluggish global growth were calmed by a recovery in recently battered commodity prices.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked up 0.03 per cent to close at 1,914.14 points.