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South Korea lifts rates again as board split on speed of easing

50 basis point hike is aimed at slowing inflation and currency slide against the dollar

The Bank of Korea began raising rates earlier than many of its regional peers. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara) 

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea raised its key interest rate by half a percentage point on Wednesday as high inflation and a weakening currency burden Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The BOK's Monetary Policy Board hiked its benchmark interest rate to 3.0% from 2.5% -- its fifth straight hike since April. However, two members of the seven-person board dissented, saying they preferred a quarter percentage point increase.

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