The South Korean currency, the won
The focus is on Governor Lee Ju-yeol’s outlook and whether he faces dissenting calls for a rate cut as he is scheduled to speak at a press conference at 0220 GMT. The won and stocks hardly budged following the rates decision. In a possible sign that the worst may be over, Samsung Electronics said last week its preliminary quarterly earnings beat estimates in the three months ending December. Fourteen of the 33 analysts polled said they anticipated another cut within the year, with six predicting it would likely happen in the first quarter.
“The BOK would find it necessary to assess the side effects of ultra-low interest rates and tread carefully on its additional easing steps. While the central bank still favors a rate cut in any fresh move, some members of the policy board are wary that ultra-low rates could stoke a property bubble and undermine financial stability. The median apartment price in Seoul in December 2019 was up almost 50% since President Moon Jae-in took office in May 2017. Lee’s speech will also be watched by investors for an announcement on the replacement of four board members, whose terms are due to end in April.
The two of the four members to be replaced are widely known as doves.
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