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20.06.2018
11:15 PM


South Korea Producer Prices Add 0.2% In May

Producer prices in South Korea were up 0.2 percent on month in May, the Bank of Korea said on Thursday - up from 0.1 percent in April.

Individually, prices for agricultural, forestry and marine products tumbled 0.9 percent on month, while manufacturing products were up 0.4 percent, utilities added 0.3 percent and services gained 0.1 percent.

On a yearly basis, producer prices advanced 2.2 percent, accelerating from 1.6 percent in the previous month.


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20.06.2018
11:02 PM


BRAZIL: Ibovespa Up 1% On Petrobras, Expectation On Selic Rate Stability

Ibovespa, the benchmark stock index in Brazil, closed up 1.02% to 72,123.41 points Wednesday, influenced by the 5.12% rise on Petrobras' preferred shares, reflecting market expectation with the House of Representatives' vote on the transfer of rights in the pre-salt layer.

The gains were also fueled by the expectation that the Brazilian Central Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) keep the basic interest rate unchanged.

"The Selic should remain stable at 6.5%, but it is worth paying attention to the official statement," said Luis Gustavo Pereira, a strategist at Guide Investimentos.

According to Mirae Asset chief analyst Pedro Galdi, Petrobras shares pulled the Ibovespa higher. The lull in the global scenario, which put aside concerns about the trade war between the United States and China, also positively impacted Brazilian shares.

According to a trader, banks' stocks rose mainly due to a technical adjustment but also driven by the expectation of maintenance of the Selic at 6.50% per year. Itau Unibanco's shares rose 1.85%, Bradesco's stocks rose 2.13%, while Banco do Brasil's gained 2.89%.

Meanwhile, in a day of volatility, the locally traded U.S. dollar appreciated at the end of the trading session, rising 0.90%, at R$ 3.7790, with investors seeking protection. Abroad, the greenback had a mixed movement against the main currencies and those of emerging countries.

For THursday, analysts point out that the movement of the Ibovespa depends on the tone of the Copom statement. According to Galdi, if the tone indicates the possibility of the Selic going up in the short term, the markets may point back down.


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20.06.2018
11:00 PM


New Zealand GDP On Tap For Thursday

New Zealand will on Thursday see Q1 numbers for gross domestic product, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.

GDP is expected to expand 0.5 percent on quarter and 2.7 percent on year, slowing from 0.6 percent on quarter and 2.9 percent on year in the three months prior.

Japan will see supermarket sales data for May; in April, sales slid 1.2 percent on year.

Hong Kong will provide May figures for consumer prices; in April, inflation was up 1.9 percent on year.

The central bank in the Philippines will wrap up its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates; the bank is expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 3.25 percent.


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20.06.2018
10:56 PM


*South Korea Producer Prices +0.2% On Month, +2.2% On Year In May

South Korea Producer Prices +0.2% On Month, +2.2% On Year In May


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20.06.2018
09:02 PM


ARGENTINA: IMF Approves Stand-by Agreement For US$ 50 Billion

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved an agreement with Argentina in the framework of the three-year stand-by agreement for US$ 50 billion - or about 1,110% of the quota of Argentina in the Fund.

The decision allows the authorities to make an immediate release of US$ 15 billion. Half of that amount would go to budget support. The remainder should be available throughout the agreement term, subject to quarterly reviews by the executive board of the Fund.

"The authorities have announced the intention to get the first tranche of the agreement, but later they should treat the rest of the agreement as a precautionary measure," the IMF said in a statement.

According to the Fund, the economic plan of the Argentinean authorities backed by the stand-by agreement seeks to restore market confidence through a coherent macroeconomic program that reduces financing needs, channels Argentina's public debt to a downward path and strengthens the plan to curb inflation through more realistic inflation targets and the strengthening of central bank independence.

"It should be noted that the plan includes measures to protect the most vulnerable segments of society by keeping social spending and, should social conditions deteriorate, opening room to increase spending on the Argentinean social protection network," added the IMF.


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20.06.2018
08:18 PM


Treasuries Show Notable Move Back To The Downside

Following the strength seen in the previous session, treasuries showed a notable move back to the downside during trading on Wednesday.

Bond prices initially moved lower and slid more firmly into negative territory as the day progressed. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed by 3.5 basis points to 2.928 percent.

The pullback by treasuries may have reflected comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said the case for further increases in interact rates is "strong."

"Earlier in the expansion, as the economy recovered, the need for highly accommodative monetary policy was clear," Powell said at a European Central Bank forum in Portugal.

He added, "But with unemployment low and expected to decline further, inflation close to our objective, and the risks to the outlook roughly balanced, the case for continued gradual increases in the federal funds rate is strong."

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off the concerns about a trade war been the U.S. and China that contributed to the strength on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump has directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent.

Trump said the tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its unfair trade practices and insists on going forward with recently announced tariffs.

The president threatened to pursue additional tariffs on another $200 billion worth of goods if China increases its tariffs yet again.

Despite the threat from Trump, China vowed to retaliate with "strong" countermeasures if the U.S. goes ahead with the new tariffs.

On the U.S. economic front, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing an unexpected decrease in existing home sales in the month of May.

NAR said existing home sales fell by 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.43 million in May after plunging by 2.7 percent to a downwardly revised 5.45 million in April.

The drop surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to climb to an annual rate of 5.52 million from the 5.46 million originally reported for the previous month.

Trading on Thursday may be impacted by reaction to reports on initial jobless claims, leading economic indicators, and Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity.

Bond traders are also likely to keep an eye on the Treasury Department's announcement of the details of next week's auctions of two-year, five-year, and seven-year notes.


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20.06.2018
07:41 PM


Crude Oil Rallies After Inventories Report

Crude oil futures rebounded Wednesday as traders weighed the latest U.S. inventories report.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 5.9 million barrels from the previous week, according to the EIA. The drop was larger than analysts expected.

August WTI oil was up 81 cents, or nearly 1.3%, to settle at $65.71/bbl.

July WTI oil gained $1.15, or 1.8%, to end at $66.22/bbl on expiration day.

The outcome of the OPEC meeting in Vienna will drive trading for the rest of the week.

Saudi Arabia is pushing to raise production but Iran will likely resist these measures.

The National Association of Realtors released a report showing an unexpected decrease in existing home sales in the month of May.

NAR said existing home sales fell by 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.43 million in May after plunging by 2.7 percent to a downwardly revised 5.45 million in April.


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20.06.2018
07:31 PM


Dollar Little Changed On Light Data Day

The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Wednesday, but remains little changed overall. Economic data was rather scarce mid-week, but traders can look forward to the release of weekly jobless claims, the Philly Fed index and the leading economic index on Thursday.

Concerns over a trade war between the U.S. and China eased somewhat Wednesday, following yesterday's pullback in global equity markets.

Existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of May, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. NAR said existing home sales fell by 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.43 million in May after plunging by 2.7 percent to a downwardly revised 5.45 million in April.

The drop surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to climb to an annual rate of 5.52 million from the 5.46 million originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar climbed to an early high of $1.1534 against the Euro Wednesday, but has since eased back to around $1.1585.

Germany's producer prices increased at the fastest pace in seven months in May, figures from Destatis showed Wednesday. Producer prices climbed 2.7 percent year-on-year in May, faster than the 2 percent increase in April. A similar faster growth was last seen in October. Prices were forecast to climb 2.5 percent.

The Bank of England will meet on Thursday, but no rate hikes are expected.

The buck fell to a low of $1.3216 against the pound sterling Wednesday, but has since rebounded to around $1.3180.

The greenback slipped to a low of Y109.849 against the Japanese Yen Wednesday, but has since risen to around Y110.325.


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20.06.2018
06:45 PM


Gold Lowest Settlement Of The Year

Gold prices were slightly lower Wednesday after Federal Reserve leader Jerome Powell said there is "rising" concern from business leaders about trade tensions.

"If you ask, is it in the forecast yet or the outlook? The answer is no. You don't see it in the performance of the economy and we don't have any way to know how to put it into the outlook just yet," he said.

Also, President Donald Trump has directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent.

August gold settles at $1,274.50/oz, down $4.10, or 0.3%, the lowest settlement in 2018.

the National Association of Realtors released a report showing an unexpected decrease in existing home sales in the month of May.

NAR said existing home sales fell by 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.43 million in May after plunging by 2.7 percent to a downwardly revised 5.45 million in April.


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20.06.2018
06:37 PM


AES BRASIL: Company Plans To Acquire Renewable Energy Projects

After selling its stake in the power company Eletropaulo for R$ 5.5 billion for Italia's Enel, AES Brasil plans to use part of the money to buy renewable energy projects, especially solar and wind farms, said the company's president, Julian Nebreda.

"Our growth plan is to buy assets in operation or that are close to being operational," he said during an event held by AES Tiete in Sao Paulo.

Without pinning any asset as a target, the executive commented that ventures close to other businesses already held by the company may make sense for an acquisition. Among them, could enter the Alto Sertio III complex, which is close to a project acquired by AES last year.

Another asset that could fit the profile that the company analyzes is Renova Energia, currently held by Companhia Energ?tica de Minas Gerais (Cemig) and Light.

In addition to increasing EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) until 2020, AES Brasil expects in the long term to implement some projects in the thermoelectric area, specifically from 2025 onwards.


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20.06.2018
06:20 PM


BRAZIL: Senate Authorizes Producer To Sell Ethanol Directly To Fuel Station

Brazil's Senate has approved a legislation authorizing ethanol producers to sell the fuel directly to the fuel stations. After the 47-2 vote in the Senate, the bill should be voted by the House of Representatives.

Proposed by Senator Otto Alencar (PSD-BA), the bill aims to increase competition in the fuel market and lower the final price for the consumer.

The project cancels the article 6 of Resolution 43/2009, by the Brazilian Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), which states that an ethanol producer (supplier) may only market the product with another supplier registered with the ANP, with a distributor authorized by the agency or with the foreign market.

According to Senator Simone Tebet, the MDB leader in the Senate, the resolution is in accordance with current legislation and, therefore, the best way out for Congress would be to amend the legislation through a bill and not only to cancel the resolution article.

The bill divided the senators: some wanting the immediate vote on the bill and others asking for the debate to be expanded so that there would be more subsidies before the vote on the matter.

Otto Alencar said his project deals with hydrated ethanol, which is sold in automotive fuel pumps, not anhydrous ethanol, which is used to be mixed into gasoline. The senator said that this market is cartelized, which ends up increasing the final price to the consumer.

He added that producers should not be forced to sell biofuel directly, but would have more of that possibility. "The bill should not stop any distributors accredited by the ANP from distributing. They will keep on distributing.

For Humberto Costa (PT-PE), authorization for direct sales should have been made long ago by Congress. He said that intermediation to distribute alcohol is unnecessary in many cases and that the price of fuel should drop at the pumps. He added that there should be no collection losses for states and municipalities and that ANP should continue to monitor the quality of fuels throughout the country.

Senator Katia Abreu (PDT-TO) also supported the project that, in her opinion, should democratize the trading of ethanol. She said the current ban is a "protectionist and corporatist excrescence."


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20.06.2018
06:01 PM


BRAZIL: Justice Fux To Hear Businessmen, Truckers To Discuss Freight

Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) justice Luiz Fux is expected to hold this morning a hearing on the legality of the schedule for minimum fares for road freight transport.

Representatives of the Brazilian government, businessmen, truck drivers and the Attorney General's Office are expected to take part.

Some entities question the constitutionality of the presidential decrees that tabulated the minimum prices of freights. The lawsuit, with a request for precautionary measures, was filed by the Brazilian Freight Transport Association, Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA), and the National Confederation of Industry (CNI).

Fux intends to hear all parties involved, which include government bodies and entities representing the truck drivers, before ruling on the case.


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20.06.2018
05:51 PM


BRAZIL: STF To Hear On Lula Appeal On Tuesday

The Second Panel of the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) scheduled for next Tuesday (June 26) the hearing on a request by the defense team of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva against his arrest.

Lula is under arrest since April 7 in a case related to an apartment in Guaruji (SP) whose property was allegedly attributed to him.

The hearing was suggested by the justice Edson Fachin, rapporteur for the Car Wash cases in Brasilia. The suggestion to hear and rule on the case was accepted by the justice Ricardo Lewandowski.

In previous appealings, Lula's defense points out that there is a misunderstanding in the final ruling by the regional federal court which ruled on the case and that the provisional execution of Lula's sentence constitutes an illegal constraint.

The argument of the defense is that the provisional execution defined by the STF indicates the possibility, but it's not obligatory.

STF's Second Panel is composed by the justices Ricardo Lewandowski, Celso de Mello, Gilmar Mendes, Dias Toffoli and Edson Fachin.


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20.06.2018
03:21 PM


U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Drop 0.4% In May

Existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of May, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday.

NAR said existing home sales fell by 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.43 million in May after plunging by 2.7 percent to a downwardly revised 5.45 million in April.

The drop surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to climb to an annual rate of 5.52 million from the 5.46 million originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected decrease, existing home sales in May were down by 3.0 compared to the same month a year ago and have fallen year-over-year for three straight months.

"Closings were down in a majority of the country last month and declined on an annual basis in each major region," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

He added, "Incredibly low supply continues to be the primary impediment to more sales, but there's no question the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates are pinching the budgets of prospective buyers, and ultimately keeping some from reaching the market."

The report said the median existing home price was at an all-time high of $264,800 in May, up 2.7 percent from $257,900 in April and up 4.9 percent from $252,500 in the same month a year ago.

NAR said total housing inventory climbed 2.8 percent to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale at the end of May but is still 6.1 percent lower year-over-year.

The unsold inventory represents 4.1 months of supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.0 months in April but down from 4.2 months in May of 2017.

The drop in existing home sales came as single-family home sales fell by 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 4.81 million, more than offsetting a 1.6 percent jump in existing condominium and co-op sales to a rate of 620,000.

Next Monday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of May.


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20.06.2018
03:00 PM


*U.S. Existing Home Sales Drop 0.4% In May

U.S. Existing Home Sales Drop 0.4% In May


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20.06.2018
01:42 PM


*Gold Stuck Near $1275

Gold Stuck Near $1275


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20.06.2018
01:42 PM


*Crude Oil Rises Near $66

Crude Oil Rises Near $66


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20.06.2018
01:27 PM


Philippine Central Bank Hikes Key Rates

The Philippine central bank on Wednesday raised its benchmark interest rate for the second straight month as inflation remains above the target.

The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, led by Governor Nestor Espenilla, raised the key interest rate, which is the overnight reverse repurchase rate, by 25 basis points to 3.50 percent.

The interest rates on the overnight lending and deposit facilities were raised accordingly.

The bank had raised the reverse repo rate by a quarter point from a record low in May, which was the first such action in nearly four years.

Inflation expectations remained elevated for 2018 and that the risk of possible second-round effects from ongoing price pressures argued for follow-through monetary policy action, the bank said in a statement.

The monetary board said further policy action enables the central bank to reinforce its signal on safeguarding macroeconomic stability in the face of rising commodity prices and ongoing normalization of monetary policy in advanced economies.

The BSP said it is prepared to take further policy action as needed to achieve its price and financial stability objectives.

The bank expects inflation to average 4.5 percent this year, which was slightly slower than the 4.6 percent estimated previously. For 2019, the bank forecast inflation to slow to 3.3 percent.

Alex Holmes, an economist at Capital Economics, said the central bank will not rush to hike rates again as inflation is close to peaking.

Although inflation may creep up a little further over the next couple of months on the back of higher oil prices and another increase in tobacco duties, it should begin to fall by the end of third quarter, the economist added.


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20.06.2018
12:50 PM


*India's Chief Economic Advisor Aravind Subramanian Quits To Return To Academia

India's Chief Economic Advisor Aravind Subramanian Quits To Return To Academia


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20.06.2018
11:36 AM


UK Manufacturing Orders Recover In June: CBI

British manufacturing order books recovered in three months to June, the Industrial Trends Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed Wednesday.

A balance of 13 percent said order books were above normal and a 9 percent said export order books remained above normal.

Manufacturers expect output growth to slow slightly in the coming quarter. A balance of 18 percent expects output growth to slow slightly.

Anna Leach, CBI head of economic intelligence, said, "The recovery in orders and a return to bumper growth in production suggests the lull in manufacturing activity may be over."

"While risks to demand persist from Brexit and escalating global trade tensions, firms can work with the Government to nurture a pro-enterprise environment that helps UK growth to shift up a gear," Leach added.


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20.06.2018
11:20 AM


*UK Jun CBI Total Order Book Balance +13%, Consensus +1%

UK Jun CBI Total Order Book Balance +13%, Consensus +1%


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20.06.2018
10:53 AM


NIER Cuts Sweden's Growth Outlook

The Swedish economy will peak this year, the National Institute of Economic Research said in its Swedish Economy Report, released Wednesday.

The agency downgraded its 2018 growth outlook to 2.5 percent from 2.9 percent. GDP growth is forecast to slow next year to 1.9 percent partly due to falling domestic housing investment. The previous projection for 2019 was 2.1 percent.

The economic growth is seen at 2 percent in 2020 and 1.9 percent each in the following two years.

Exports are expected to strengthen next year, boosting industrial production. Investment will also grow relatively strongly this year, the Stockholm-based state-run think tank said. Meanwhile, housing investment is predicted to decline.

Inflation is forecast to stabilize around 2 percent in 2018 and 2019. The Riksbank will not, however, begin to raise the repo rate until the spring of 2019, the NIER said.

The jobless rate is forecast to fall to 6.2 percent this year and remain the same in 2019 and 2020.


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20.06.2018
10:50 AM


U.S. Dollar Strengthens Against Majors

The U.S. dollar climbed against its major counterparts in early European deals on Wednesday, as fears over a US-China trade trade war faded and traders awaited U.S. existing home sales data later in the day.

Helping ease concerns about the outlook for the world's second-largest economy, the People's Bank of China said in a working paper on Tuesday that China should appropriately reduce its reserve requirements to ease burdens on financial institutions and smooth the interest rate transmission mechanism.

The central bank also injected funds into the financial system via its medium-term lending facility to offset liquidity pressure.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe are due to participate in a panel discussion at the ECB Forum later today.

The Bank of England and Swiss National Bank are meeting on Thursday, but no rate hikes are expected.

The currency has been trading in a positive territory against its major counterparts in the Asian session.

The greenback strengthened to a 2-day high of 0.9979 against the Swiss franc, after having fallen to 0.9936 at 5:00 pm ET. The greenback is seen finding resistance around the 1.01 level.

The greenback edged up to 1.1537 against the euro, following a decline to 1.1596 at 7:45 pm ET. The next likely resistance for the greenback is seen around the 1.13 level.

The greenback appreciated to 110.25 against the yen and held steady thereafter. On the upside, 112.00 is possibly seen as the next resistance level for the greenback.

The U.S. currency climbed to more than a 7-month high of 1.3148 against the pound, from a low of 1.3179 touched at 5:00 pm ET. Next key resistance for the greenback is likely seen around the 1.30 level.

The greenback strengthened to near a 5-week high of 0.6881 against the kiwi and a 1-year high of 1.3311 against the loonie, off its early lows of 0.6917 and 1.3269, respectively. The next possible resistance for the greenback is seen around 0.67 against the kiwi and 1.35 against the loonie.

The greenback bounced off slightly to 0.7381 against the aussie, from a low of 0.7409 seen at 1:30 am ET. The greenback is poised to challenge resistance around the 0.72 level.

Looking ahead, U.S. current account data for the first quarter and existing home sales for May are due in the New York session.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell, ECB President Mario Draghi, BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and RBA Governor Philip Lowe will speak at the conclusion of the Sintra conference in Portugal at 9:30 am ET.


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20.06.2018
10:28 AM


South Africa Inflation Eases Unexpectedly In May

South Africa's consumer price inflation slowed unexpectedly in May, though marginally, figures from Statistics South Africa showed Wednesday.

Consumer prices rose 4.4 percent year-over-year in May, just below the 4.5 percent climb in April. Meanwhile, the inflation was expected to rise to 4.6 percent.

Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 3.4 percent annually and transport costs grew by 5.0 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.2 percent from April, when it gained by 0.8 percent. That was in line with economists' expectations.


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20.06.2018
10:02 AM


Philippine Central Bank Raises Key Rate

The Philippine central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for a second time this year as inflation expectations remained elevated.

The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, led by Governor Nestor Espenilla, on Wednesday, raised the key interest rate, which is the overnight reverse repurchase rate, by 25 basis points to 3.50 percent.

The interest rates on the overnight lending and deposit facilities were likewise raised accordingly.

Inflation expectations remained elevated for 2018 and that the risk of possible second-round effects from ongoing price pressures argued for follow-through monetary policy action, the bank said in a statement.

The BSP said it is prepared to take further policy action as needed to achieve its price and financial stability objectives.


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