Chile central bank holds rate at 5 percent

SANTIAGO Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:10pm EST

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SANTIAGO Jan 17 (Reuters) - Chile's central bank on Thursday kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 5.0 percent - as expected - for the 12th consecutive session as buoyant domestic growth counters an uncertain outlook for global demand.

But the key rate is likely to inch up to 5.25 percent by year-end, a central bank poll of analysts showed earlier in January, as inflation is seen anchored near the bank's target in 12 and 24 months' time.

The central bank's communique said the peso currency had strengthened slightly against the U.S. dollar over the last month.

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