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Brazil cuts interest rates to new low 3.75% in coronavirus fight

BRASILIA, March 18 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank on Wednesday slashed its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to a record-low 3.75% in an attempt to shield the economy from a likely battering by the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision by the bank's nine-person rate-setting committee known as 'Copom' was unanimous, and comes as economists slash growth forecasts, pointing to recession. Brazil's main stock index has plunged 35% this month alone and the currency has sunk to new lows on a near daily basis. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever Editing by Brad Haynes)