Moldova central bank raises key interest rate to 6.50% to tackle inflation

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CHISINAU, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The Moldovan central bank raised its key interest rate to 6.50% from 5.50% at a monetary policy meeting on Friday and said that it would be ready to tighten policy further to restrain inflation, which exceeded its target of 5%.

Inflation jumped to 8.81% in October from 6.68% in September mainly due to high energy prices, which prompted the bank to increase the rate for the fourth time this year.

"The decision aims to create the monetary conditions necessary to temper the pace of rising consumer prices," the National Bank of Moldova said in a statement.

The bank's governor, Octavian Armasu, said earlier in November the spike in gas prices could lead to double-digit inflation next year.

"The National Bank of Moldova will continue to closely monitor the development of the domestic and international environment and is ready to take the necessary measures to achieve the fundamental objective of ensuring price stability," the bank said on Friday.

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Reporting by Alexander Tanas; writing by Natalia Zinets; editing by Matthias Williams

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