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Brazil central bank maintains key rate at 6.50%

Banco Central do Brasil's monetary policy committee unanimously decided to keep its Selic policy interest rate steady at 6.50% per annum, citing the country's gradual economic recovery and "comfortable" inflation developments.

In a statement, the committee, known as Copom, also warned that the global outlook remained challenging for emerging economies, due to global financial markets' rising risk aversion and uncertainty regarding global trading.

Copom noted that "various measures of underlying inflation are running at appropriate or comfortable levels," including the "most sensitive" components for business and monetary policy.

Copom added that inflation expectations stand at around 3.7% for 2018 and at 4.1% and 4.0% for 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The committee said this scenario "assumes a path for the Selic rate that ends 2018 at 6.5% [per annum], increases to 7.5% [per annum] over the course of 2019, and reaches 8.0% [per annum] by 2020."

The evolution of the baseline scenario and of the balance of risks leads to keeping the Selic rate at its current level, Copom said.