Philippines cuts rates

The Central Bank of the Philippines surprised the markets on Thursday by deciding to lower its key policy rates by 25 basis points to 5.75%, for the overnight borrowing rate, and 7.75% for the overnight lending rate.

A rate hold was widely expected.

The central bank said that the benign inflation outlook had led to the cut, the second this year following the decision to abolish the tiering system in July: "Inflation is likely to fall well below the 4% to 5% target range in 2007 and with the 4%

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