December 13, 2016 / 9:50 PM / 8 months ago

Argentina cenbank keeps key rate unchanged for second straight week

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Argentina's central bank kept its benchmark 35-day interest rate at 24.75 percent for the second week in a row on Tuesday, citing its effort to bring inflation down to its targeted 2017 ceiling of 17 percent despite private forecasts of a much higher rate.

Two weeks earlier the bank cut the 35-day rate 50 basis points, the last move in a month-long monetary policy easing cycle that was halted by a jump in inflation expectations.

A central bank poll released on Dec. 2 showed analysts had increased their estimates of 2017 inflation to 20.2 percent from 19.7 previously. The poll showed economists expect consumer prices to rise 40 percent this year.

"The central bank will continue to maintain a clear anti-inflationary bias to ensure that disinflation continues toward its target of 12 percent to 17 percent in 2017," the bank said in its statement announcing its policy decision. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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