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Supply, demand conditions in Brazil more balanced, Tombini says

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Supply and demand conditions in Brazil are more balanced at the moment, central bank President Alexandre Tombini said on Wednesday, adding that a recent spike in food prices is of a temporary nature. Speaking to TV Globo's program Jornal Nacional from Washington, D.C., Tombini said that the central bank's job in helping contain inflationary pressures has been "important." Twelve-month trailing inflation has declined about 1 percentage point between June last year and January, Tombini noted.

BOK freezes key rate at new chief's first policy meeting

By Kim Soo-yeon SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's central bank froze the key interest rate for the 11th straight month on Thursday amid an economic recovery at the first rate-setting meeting with its new chief at the helm. Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol and his six fellow policymakers held the benchmark seven-day repo rate, called the base rate, at 2.5 percent as widely expected.

U.S. urges Germany, other European nations to keep deflation at bay

By Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday urged Germany and other European countries to take seriously the risk that Europe could slip into a dangerous spiral of falling wages and prices. "The risk of deflation is something that they need to be very alert to," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told U.S. broadcaster CNBC. Lew was speaking on the eve of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund, which brings top financial officials from around the world to Washington.

Eurozone set for 1.2% growth, deflation threatens

The eurozone economy is recovering towards 1.2-percent growth this year, the IMF said in an upgraded forecast on Tuesday but renewed pressure on the European Central Bank to cut interest rates to counter deflation dangers. Warning that recovery in the 18 eurozone members was struggling up a slippery slope, the IMF raised the outlook for this year from 1.0 percent, and forecast 1.5-percent growth next year and in the medium term. hd/rl

ECB ready to act if needed, but new measures bring risks: Weidmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Central Bank stands ready to act if needed to stop euro zone inflation getting stuck at low levels, though any new measures would bring risks that must be carefully assessed, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said. Weidmann, the leading hawk on the ECB's 24-member Governing Council, played down the possibility of the euro zone slipping into a deflationary spiral but said ECB policymakers were watching price pressures closely.

IMF presses ECB to act soon against deflation

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday urged the European Central Bank to act as soon as possible to fend off the deflation threat, amid worries about weak eurozone growth. IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard said the ECB had already studied the various stimulus measures it could take to boost spending and investment, including quantitative easing, negative interest rates, and securitization programs. "I think they should all be looked at, and I know that the ECB is looking at them," he told reporters.

BOJ expects continued economic recovery, no need for further easing now

The Bank of Japan decided Tuesday to keep intact its ultraloose monetary easing to beat deflation and retained the view that the domestic economy is likely to continue recovering after the April 1 sales tax hike, with BOJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda currently seeing no need for additional easing.

BOJ's Kuroda dismisses need for additional stimulus

By Leika Kihara and Stanley White TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said there was no need for additional stimulus to escape years of debilating deflation, expressing confidence on Tuesday the world's third-largest economy can ride out the impact of a sales tax rise. Kuroda dismissed market expectations the BOJ could ease again soon to soften the blow from the tax rise that took effect of April 1, stressing a short-term disruption was unlikely to derail a steady recovery already underway.

Bank of Japan holds off additional monetary easing

The Bank of Japan on Tuesday stood pat on its monetary easing programme as it assesses the impact of a controversial sales tax rise introduced at the start of the month. Policymakers, who were wrapping up a two-day meeting, have stood their ground since last April, only making tweaks to the vast programme as it rippled through the world's third-largest economy. "Japan's economy has continued to recover moderately as a trend, albeit with some fluctuations due to the consumption tax hike," the BoJ said in a statement.

Yen gains in Asia after BoJ wraps up meeting

The yen extended its gains in Asia Tuesday as the Bank of Japan stood pat on its monetary easing programme while it assesses the impact of a sales tax rise on the world's third-largest economy. The dollar slipped to 102.90 yen in Tokyo midday trade from 103.09 yen in New York Monday, while the euro also weakened to 141.45 yen from 141.65 yen in US trade. The European single currency bought $1.3743, little changed from $1.3740.
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