WASHINGTON - The international Monetary Fund yesterday flatly rejected the U.S. appeal for lower interest rates to spur global growth, setting up a confrontation in which neither side appeared willing to back down.

The unusual public dispute over monetary policy made it clear that the industrial nations remain at odds over Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady's appeal for lower German rates to ease tensions in European financial markets and to help revive the sluggish world economy. The confrontation took place at the opening of the annual World Bank and IMF meetings.

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