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BRASILIA, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, its first decrease in four years, as it launched a monetary easing cycle to help an economy mired in its worst recession on record.
In a unanimous vote, the bank's monetary policy committee, known as Copom, decided to lower its benchmark Selic rate to 14 percent after it reached a 10-year high last year as the bank sought to curb stubbornly strong inflation.
An overwhelming majority of analysts expected the bank to ease monetary policy, but they were evenly split on whether policymakers would cut the Selic by 25 or 50 basis points. (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Andrew Hay)