• Bank of Korea likely to leave benchmark policy rate unchanged at 1.50 pct, following benign inflation outlook: ScotiaBank

    Source: FxWire Pro - Commentary / 10 Apr 2018 02:27:22   America/New_York

    The Bank of Korea (BoK) is expected to leave its policy rate unchanged at 1.50 percent on Thursday morning, largely due to the nation’s benign inflation outlook, hovering U.S.-China trade disputes and the Fed’s further gradual rate hikes, according to the latest research report from Scotiabank.

    In addition, the Nikkei South Korea Manufacturing PMI fell to 49.1 in March from 50.3 a month earlier, the weakest reading in eight months. It was partly attributable to uncertainty surrounding US-S. Korea FTA and US-China trade disputes.

    However, the factory activity gauge is likely to rebound moderately in the coming months after the US and South Korea agreed on a revised FTA in March. In addition, Senior Trump administration officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Kudlow softened some of the rhetoric on trade disputes with China on Sunday. US President Trump also promised on Monday to remedy the negative effects on US farmers who have been caught up in his administration’s trade conflicts with China.

    A Trump administration official said on Sunday that North Korea has told the US that its leader, Kim Jong-un, is willing to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, according to the WSJ. The confirmation could pave the way for a summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim and US President Trump, keeping geopolitical situation staying under control ahead of the possible summit. US President Trump said at the start of a cabinet meeting on Monday that "we’ll be meeting with them sometime in May, or early June."

    "We maintain our short USD/KRW position targeting 1,050 for now, taking into account a currency deal between the US and South Korea and US Treasury Department’s semi-annual FX policy report due mid-April. In April, South Korean listed companies paying dividends to overseas investors could boost demand for dollars on the scheduled due dates," the report added.

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