UPDATE 1-Ukraine central bank raises rate to stem inflation risk

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KIEV, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Ukraine's central bank on Thursday raised its main interest rate by half a percentage point to 18 percent and warned that the government's ability to secure more foreign aid remained the major precondition to keeping prices in check.

The central bank is prepared to raise rates again further down the line if more risks to inflation materialise, the bank said in a statement.

"Success in continuing cooperation with the International Monetary Fund remains the major precondition for bringing inflation down to the target," it said.

"New loans from the IMF, and related financing from other Ukrainian partners, are expected to boost the countrys macrofinancial stability and signal to other market players that Ukraine is making progress with reforms."

Consumer price inflation eased to 8.9 percent year-on-year in July and will be close to this level in August, the central bank said in its statement.

The rate hike was in line with market expectations and will take effect on Friday.

It coincided with the arrival of an IMF mission to Kiev for further aid talks. The government has so far been reluctant to raise gas prices -- a key IMF demand -- and has not secured any money under its $17.5 billion programme since April 2017.

In a news conference, the central bank governor said he expected Ukraine to reach a consensus with the IMF. (Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Alison Williams)