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Philippines hikes rates by half point to tame 'rampant' inflation

Central bank chief signals further tightening will be at moderate pace

The Philippine central bank in Manila: Monetary authorities in the country are raising interest rates as they battle surging inflation and a sagging currency. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

MANILA -- The Philippine central bank on Thursday raised its key interest rate by half a percentage point in a bid to tame stubbornly high inflation.

At its final policy meeting this year, the Monetary Board lifted the benchmark rate to 5.5%, its highest level since January 2009. The hike matched the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest tightening on Wednesday.

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