(Bloomberg) -- The Bank of Korea stood pat on its record-low interest rate as it seeks to sustain the economy’s recovery momentum amid rising coronavirus cases.The South Korean bank kept its seven-day repurchase rate at 0.5% on Thursday, a decision predicted by all 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.The country is on the verge of rising virus cases turning into a fresh wave, with the government warning of tighter curbs should infections continue to increase.While the economy’s outlook is still relatively bright, helped by exports and extra fiscal spending, a worsening outbreak and a shortage of vaccines are raising concerns that the recovery may not spread more broadly across the economy, adding to the view that the central bank will keep rates low for some time to come.“The virus outbreaks are the reason the BOK lowered its rate in the first place and that means it won’t tighten until they are resolved,” said Cho Yong-gu, a fixed-income strategist at Shinyoung Securities. “The prospects are unclear as South Korea is behind on vaccinations and herd immunity may not be achieved by November.”BOK Governor Lee Ju-yeol said last month that the economy is likely expanding faster than the central bank’s 3% projection in February, while seeking to dispel any speculation of an early tightening. The central bank’s updated quarterly outlook is due in May. Lee is expected to offer his latest views on growth and inflation at a briefing later Thursday.Markets were largely stable after the decision. The won traded little changed from Wednesday’s close at 1,116.05 against the dollar as of 9:55 a.m. in Seoul, while the 10-year government bond yield was at 2.00%.Rising CasesKorea has seen some signs of the export-led recovery reaching domestic sectors, with employment rising and consumers turning optimistic for the first time since the start of the pandemic. But the latest rise in coronavirus cases close to 700 on Thursday is threatening to derail a nascent revival of consumption and employment, and entrench a K-shaped recovery.Financial stability is also increasingly on the minds of the BOK board, suggesting any further easing to aid the recovery is unlikely. A fast increase in household debt has led to soaring home prices that exacerbate economic disparities and raise the risk of a bubble. After liquidity pumped into markets helped buoy traditional financial assets, volatility is rising in cryptocurrency markets as well.With most economists expecting the hold decision to be unanimous, it may surprise markets if there are any dissenting votes, whether for a cut or a hike. Lee will announce any dissenters at the press briefing at 11:20 a.m. in Seoul.Most economists see no change in the key rate this year. Views split in the second half of 2022, when the consensus shifts to a rate hike.(Updates with market prices, economist’s comment.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.