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Philippines cuts interest rates by quarter point

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine central bank Thursday cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point to record lows to boost the economy amid a global slump.

Central bank Gov. Amando Tetangco said the bank's fourth rate cut this year brings the cumulative reduction to one percentage point.

The rate paid by the central bank to lenders for overnight deposits is now 3.5 percent while the rate borrowers pay for overnight credit from the central bank is down to 5.5 percent.

Tetangco said lower rates could encourage investment and consumption to ward off risks associated with weaker overseas demand.

Tetangco said inflation remains benign and is forecast to be within government's target of 3 to 5 percent this year through to 2014.

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