Brazil cuts benchmark lending rate to 12.75 pct (AP)

A worker protests job cuts and high interest rates at the central bank building in Sao Paulo, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009. Brazil's Labor Ministry says the country lost 654,000 jobs in December as the international financial crisis slammed Latin America's largest economy. (AP Photo/ Andre Penner)AP – Brazil’s central bank reduced its benchmark interest rate a full point to 12.75 percent on Wednesday, its biggest cut since December 2003, as industry and labor leaders called for eased lending to boost the country’s stalling economy.

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