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Asia-Pacific central banks bite the bullet on rate hikes

From Seoul to Singapore, policymakers under pressure to keep up with inflation, Fed

A market in Singapore. The price of food and energy has been rising in the Asia-Pacific.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE/SEOUL -- Facing rampant inflation and the risk of currency sell-offs, central banks across the Asia-Pacific have been driven to tighten monetary policy sooner than they would have liked to.

The Bank of Korea on Thursday raised its key rate for the first time in three months, despite market speculation that it would hold steady. The same day, the Monetary Authority of Singapore decided to tighten policy for the third straight meeting.

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