South Korea's central bank said on Thursday that it kept the benchmark interest rate at 3.25% for March, leaving the 7-day repo rate unchanged for nine straight months.

The Bank of Korea (BOK)'s decision came in line with economists' expectations, as experts predicted the rate freeze due to conflicting factors such as lingering downside risks to the economy and the possible higher inflationary pressures amid rising oil prices.

The BOK since July 2010 has lifted the borrowing costs by a total of 1.25 basis points (bps) in five steps to reach 3.25% to curb inflation.