Wednesday, South Korea saw a record current account surplus in March. Elsewhere, Malaysia's central bank held its key interest rate unchanged.

Data released by the Bank of Korea showed that current account surplus stood at $6.65 billion in March, up from $3.56 billion surplus in February.

The goods account surplus was $6.98 billion, an increase of $3.87 billion from February's $3.11 billion. The annual rate of decrease of imports accelerated, while that of exports narrowed compared to the previous month.

The services account deficit stood at $0.65 billion, up from $0.53 billion a month earlier. Among the component account, the travel account surplus narrowed, while the other service account deficit widened as did transport account surplus.

The income account shifted to a deficit of $0.22 billion from a surplus of $0.48 billion, due to seasonal factors including external dividend payments by corporations whose fiscal year ends in December.

Elsewhere, Malaysia's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at 2% after cutting the rate in the previous three consecutive rate-setting sessions. Economists had expected the bank to lower the rate by another 25 basis points to 1.75%.

The Malaysian economy is expected to record a marked contraction in the first quarter of 2009 driven by sharp declines in exports and industrial production, the Bank Negara Malaysia said in a statement accompanying the monetary policy decision.

India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry said output from six core industries rose 2.9% year-on-year in March, at the same pace recorded in the same month of the previous year. Production in six core industries contribute 26.7% of the Index of Industrial Production. During April-March 2008-09, six core industries registered a growth of 2.7% as against 5.9% during the corresponding period of the previous year.

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