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IMF chief says optimistic on global growth but darker clouds looming

HONG KONG, April 11 (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday the fund remains optimistic on the outlook for global growth but warned that darker clouds are looming due to fading fiscal stimulus and rising interest rates.

In a speech in Hong Kong, Lagarde said the top priorities for the global economy are to steer clear of protectionism, guard against financial risk and foster long-term growth.

The IMF chief was speaking after attending the Boao Forum in China where she said that a global economic recovery is taking root.

(Reporting by Anne Marie Roantree and Venus Wu; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)