March 21, 2019 / 1:17 AM / a month ago

Bank of Korea chief says Fed's shift eased uncertainties; sees no rate cut for Korea yet

FILE PHOTO: Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol speaks during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s central bank chief said on Thursday the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to abandon projections for any interest rate hikes this year eased uncertainties for Korean policymakers.

Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol also said it is still too early to discuss cutting interest rates in Asia’s fourth largest economy, due to uncertainties stemming from a slowing Chinese economy and Brexit.

“It’s not right time to discuss easing of policy rates yet,” Lee told reporters, adding that the BOK’s current policy is accommodative enough to support South Korea’s economic growth.

The Fed on Wednesday brought its three-year drive to tighten monetary policy to an abrupt end, abandoning projections for any interest rate hikes this year amid signs of an economic slowdown, and saying it would halt the steady decline of its balance sheet in September.

Last month, the BOK kept the seven-day repurchase rate at 1.75 percent.

Reporting by Joori Roh, Cynthia Kim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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