KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Malaysia's central bank kept its key interest rate at 3.00 percent on Thursday, saying that robust domestic activity was offsetting a weaker outlook for exports.
All 17 economists polled by Reuters had expected Bank Negara to hold the overnight policy rate (OPR) at its level since May 2011 at Thursday's meeting, its last this year.
"The sustained expansion in domestic activity has offset the weaknesses in the external sector. Looking ahead, private consumption will be supported by the income growth and stable employment conditions," Bank Negara said in a statement.
The central bank has kept its monetary policy unchanged since last May, when it hiked the benchmark rate for the fourth time after starting a tightening cycle in 2010.
Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines and Japan eased monetary policy last month to support growth while Australia held rates on Tuesday after a quarter-point cut to 3.25 percent in October.
For the full monetary policy statement, please click on (Reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Stuart Grudgings)