South Korea's central bank has held the benchmark interest rate steady at three-point-five percent for the third straight time on Thursday amid signs of slowing inflation.
The latest decision by the Bank of Korea's(BOK) monetary policy board to freeze the key rate for the third time since February follows a series of ten consecutive hikes since August 2021.
Inflation dropped to three-point-seven percent in April, posting in the three-percent range for the first time in 14 months.
The rate freeze was most likely affected by a prolonged stagnation in exports, which fell for the seventh consecutive month in April due largely to sagging global demand for semiconductors as the country's trade balance remained in the red for the 14th month.
Escalating global financial risks stemming from the Silicon Valley Bank crisis were also likely taken into account.
Thursday's rate freeze has further widened the difference with the United States after the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate to a five to the five-point-25-percent range earlier this month.