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SINGAPORE, April 13 (Reuters) - Singapore's central bank kept its exchange-rate based policy unchanged as expected on Thursday, saying a "neutral" stance will be needed for an extended period of time.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore said it will maintain its rate of appreciation of the Singapore dollar at zero percent, with the width of the policy band and the level at which it is centred unchanged.
"A neutral policy stance is appropriate for an extended period and should ensure medium-term price stability," the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its semiannual monetary policy statement.
The MAS manages monetary policy by changes to the exchange rate, rather than interest rates, letting the Singapore dollar rise or fall against the currencies of its main trading partners because trade flows dwarf the city state's economy.
Eighteen of 19 analysts surveyed by Reuters had predicted the MAS would keep monetary policy unchanged this month, while the lone analyst expected an easing. (Reporting by Singapore bureau; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)