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     TOKYO (MNI) - The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea on Friday left
the Base Rate unchanged at 1.25% after rate cuts in July and October, a policy
statement said.
     The next policy meeting is scheduled on Jan. 17, 2020.
     The BOK will likely maintain its easing bias at that January meeting as the
economy remains weak and inflation low amid the sustained slowdown in overseas
economies caused by trade frictions. 
     It remains uncertain, however, if the BOK will cut its policy rate at the
next meeting in January as the bank continues to monitor the impact of previous
cuts on the economy and awaits a resolution to the trade issues. 
     One positive sign is that adjustments of IT-related goods seem to have
bottomed and global demand is gradually recovering. 
     This will nevertheless take some time to flow through to South Korean
exports. 
     Today's Monetary Policy Board statement said: "Based on currently available
information the Board considers that the pace of global economic growth has
continued to slow as trade has contracted. The global financial markets have
been stable in general, as risk aversion has subsided in line mainly with
progress in the US-China trade negotiations."
     The BOK statement said, "Looking ahead, the Board sees global economic
growth and the global financial markets as likely to be affected by factors such
as the degree of the spread of trade protectionism, the changes in the monetary
policies of major countries, and geopolitical risks.
     "Looking ahead, the Board will conduct monetary policy so as to ensure that
the recovery of economic growth continues and consumer price inflation can be
stabilized at the target level over a medium-term horizon, while paying
attention to financial stability. As it is expected that domestic economic
growth will be moderate and it is forecast that inflationary pressures on the
demand side will remain at a low level, the Board will maintain its
accommodative monetary policy stance. In this process it will judge whether to
adjust the degree of monetary policy accommodation, while carefully monitoring
developments in the US-China trade negotiations, the economies and monetary
policies of major countries, the trend of increase in household debt, and
geopolitical risks and examining their effects on domestic macroeconomic and
financial stability conditions," the statement said.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email: hiroshi.inoue@marketnews.com
--MNI Sydney Bureau; +61 405322399; email: lachlan.colquhoun.ext@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: M$A$$$]

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