NAIROBI - Kenya's central bank held its benchmark lending rate steady at 8.75% on Monday, its monetary policy committee said, saying its last hike in November was still working its way through the economy.

Six out of nine market participants polled by Reuters had predicted the bank would hold the rate steady, while three expected it would be raised.

The move bucks the trend among major African central banks who have maintained a tightening stance into this year. Policymakers in Nigeria and South Africa hiked rates last week, while their Ghanaian counterparts hiked earlier on Monday.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri and George Obulutsa; Editing by James Macharia Chege and Toby Chopra)