(Adds detail, analyst quote)
* BOK keeps rates at 1.25 pct (Reuters poll 1.25 pct)
* Central bank wary over U.S. Treasury report, North Korea
* Pyongyang tells reporters to prepare for "big, important"
* Economic forecast revisions due later
By Christine Kim and Cynthia Kim
SEOUL, April 13 South Korea's central bank kept
interest rates unchanged for a 10th straight month on Thursday,
wary of geopolitical risks around North Korea and ahead of a
much-anticipated U.S. Treasury report on foreign currency
The Bank of Korea's monetary policy committee held its base
rate steady at 1.25 percent, a media official said
without elaborating. Governor Lee Ju-yeol is due to hold a news
conference from 11:20 a.m. (0220 GMT).
All 21 analysts surveyed in a Reuters poll before the
decision forecast the Bank of Korea would leave the base rate
unchanged on Thursday.
A majority of analysts see the central bank on hold for the
rest of the year and some see tightening beginning next year.
The central bank will release quarterly revisions to its
economic forecasts later in the day.
"We'll have to see what the reasoning was behind the rate
decision and whether Lee's comments change from his previous
remarks but at this stage I don't think the BOK's rate stance
will change," said Choi Un-sun, a fixed-income analyst at Cape
Investment & Securities. Choi also sees the BOK standing pat
Markets shrugged off the interest rate announcement, with
the won and stocks up slightly and futures on
three-year treasury bonds rising 0.09 points to trade at
Market players were keeping a close eye on movements in
North Korea, where visiting foreign journalists were gathered in
Pyongyang for "a big and important event" early on Thursday.
Analysts have said any revisions to the BOK's forecasts were
likely to be minimal, although considering recent positive
indicators such as exports and inflation, the BOK could upgrade
its growth outlook.
The BOK and the finance ministry are awaiting the April 13
release of a semi-annual U.S. Treasury report on the currency
policies of its major trading partners, which includes South
Policymakers have fretted over whether South Korea will be
named as a currency manipulator in the report although on
balance they are confident it is unlikely.
Consumer price growth in South Korea picked up at the
fastest pace in nearly five years in March as the prices of
fresh food and services rose, signalling a rebound in domestic
demand after months of weakening consumer sentiment amid a
corruption scandal that led to the ouster of President Park
Rising household debt also remains an issue for the central
bank, as previous interest rate cuts by the Bank of Korea have
been identified as a key reason behind feverish borrowing.
The BOK did not hold a rate-setting meeting in March as it
has reduced the number of such meetings starting this year to
eight from 12.
(Additional reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer)