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UPDATE 3-Poland's rate-setting panel meeting moved to Friday

(Adds government’s spokesman comment)

WARSAW, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Poland’s monthly Monetary Policy Council (MPC) meeting was moved to Friday from Wednesday, rate-setter Grazyna Ancyparowicz said on Tuesday, confirming state news agency PAP’s information.

“According to my knowledge, the sitting was moved to Friday,” Ancyparowicz told Reuters. She didn’t say why the decision was taken.

Central bank spokesman Jacek Majcherek confirmed the meeting had been moved to Nov. 6 and October minutes would be published Nov. 10. He declined to say why.

Analysts had expected the MPC to leave interest rates unchanged at near-zero levels on Wednesday.

The bank may have wanted to know whether the government will introduce a hard lockdown, said the chief economist at Credit Agricole Polska, Jakub Borowski. That decision is expected on Wednesday.

“Moving the sitting to Friday gives the MPC time and comfort to include in their rate-decision statement risks the hard lockdown creates for the new central bank forecast. Hard lockdown would mean much lower economic growth,” Borowski said.

Government spokesman Piotr Muller said that the MPC had taken the decision independently.

“I don’t know anything about the postponement of the MPC meeting being in any way related to talks with the government,” Muller told a press conference.

Poland reported on Tuesday that the number of people infected with coronavirus exceeded 400,000. The figure has doubled in less than two weeks.

“I don’t think the bank moved the sitting to take a decision on a rate cut, as such a decision can be taken even between sittings, but obviously one can not exclude it ... If at all, I would rather think about unconventional actions aimed at stimulating the credit action and investments,” Borowski said. (Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz, Marcin Goclowski and Agnieszka Barteczko; writing by Marcin Goclowski; editing by Larry King and Steve Orlofsky)

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