BRASILIA Oct 19 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