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Brazil central bank holds interest rates, pausing rate-hike cycle

BRASILIA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank on Wednesday decided to keep interest rates unchanged, pausing an aggressive monetary tightening cycle after inflation began to ease in Latin America's largest economy.

The bank's rate-setting committee, known as Copom, decided by a vote of 7-to-2 to leave its benchmark Selic interest at 13.75% after 12 consecutive increases. Of the 32 economists polled by Reuters, 24 expected the policymakers to hold rates and eight forecast a final increase of 25 basis points. (Reporting by Marcela Ayres Editing by Brad Haynes)