South Korean consumer prices were up 1.4% in February from a year before, easing from a 1.5% increase in January. The central bank now is considered to have additional room for easing if needed, but the outlook might be less rosy. "Price pressure is set to rise on the back of both stronger demand and supply constraints. This will gradually create a tightening bias for the Bank of Korea, with headline CPI likely to rise sharply around midyear," said Ronald Man, a Hong Kong-based analyst at HSBC Holdings.

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