Kazakhstan central bank seen holding policy rate unchanged

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ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s central bank will probably keep its benchmark rate unchanged at 10.25 percent in a policy review on Monday, after inflation picked up, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

Only three of nine analysts polled this week predicted a modest cut, with the remaining six expecting the rate to remain unchanged.

The Kazakh tenge has gained 1.2 percent against the dollar so far this month, supported by stronger prices of oil, Kazakhstan’s main export.

But inflation accelerated to 1.2 percent month-on-month in October from 0.3 percent in September. Annual inflation rose to 7.7 percent, very close to the upper bound of the central bank’s target range of 6.0-8.0 percent.

“Due to the deteriorating inflation dynamics – although inflation is still driven by non-monetary factors, this is cost inflation – we think the central bank could take a pause for a quarter and wait until prices and expectations stabilize,” said Halyk Finance analyst Asan Kurmanov.

The Nov 27 interest rate review will be the final one this year. Kazakhstan’s central bank reviews the rate 10 times a year.

Reporting by Mariya Gordeyeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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