Brazil's Lula defends central bank's independence

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, has underlined his support for the central bank's autonomy after the institution decided last week to make its biggest rate hike in more than five years.

Estadao, a Brazilian newspaper, reported on Saturday that Lula told reporters on a visit to Portugal that it was the central bank's responsibility to set monetary policy and that the authorities will do what is necessary to stop a recent surge in inflation becoming a permanent problem.

Howe