More banks cut prime to 11 1/2

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A new round of prime-rate cuts swept through the banking industry Monday, with Chase Manhattan Bank and more than a dozen others lowering the benchmark lending rate a quarter point to 11 1/2 percent.

The banks that made the move included Bank of America, Chemical Bank New York , Manufacturers Hanover, Irving Trust, First National Bank of Chicago, Bank of New York; United States Trust Company, Mellon Bank, Harris Trust & Savings Bank, Pittsburgh National Bank, First National Bank of Boston, Indiana National Bank, European American Bank, and Northern Trust Company.

Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, Citibank, Bankers Trust, and Manufacturers Bank of Los Angeles lowered their rates to 11 1/2 percent two weeks ago.

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The latest drop in the rate, which stood at a record 20 percent in April, reflected an easing of other key short-term interest rates. Economists have predicted the prime could decline to 10 percent soon.

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