Malaysia cuts interest rate for first time in 3 years

FILE - In this June 6, 2018, file photo, a motorcyclist rides past the Bank Negara Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The country's central bank on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, cut interest rates for the first time in nearly three years to help support growth and counter risks from a global slowdown, trade tensions and extended weakness in commodity prices. (AP Photo/Sadiq Asyraf, File)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia's central bank cut interest rates Tuesday for the first time in nearly three years to help support growth and counter risks from a global slowdown, trade tensions and extended weakness in commodity prices.

Bank Negara Malaysia says it decided to reduce its overnight policy rate, used by banks to calculate interest rates, to 3% from 3.25%. The rate was last cut by a quarter-basis point to 3% in July 2016, but was raised back to 3.25% in January 2018.

The central bank forecast the economy will expand between 4.3-4.8% this year.

It said in a statement that signs of a tightening in financial conditions called for a rate adjustment to "preserve the degree of monetary accommodativeness."

Han Tan, a market analyst with FXTM, said the move should help boost domestic consumption and strengthen the Malaysian economy.

"External headwinds and ongoing concerns around the impending slowdown for the global economy are the primary reason behind why several central banks across the world are expected to change their monetary policy outlook this year," he said.

In April, India cut rates for the second time in two months. Australia's central bank opted to hold rates steady in its policy decision on Tuesday.

You may also interested in

Nervous about China, Southeast Asia gets Trump's...

Apr 21, 2017

Southeast Asia, a focus of past U.S. presidents, has been a blip thus far for the Trump...

Vigils held for Christian politician imprisoned...

May 12, 2017

The imprisonment of a Christian politician for blaspheming Islam has triggered an outpouring of...

2 men in Indonesia caned dozens of times for gay...

May 23, 2017

Two men in Indonesia's Aceh province have been publicly caned dozens of times for consensual gay...

President orders thorough probe of Indonesia...

May 25, 2017

Indonesia's president has ordered a thorough investigation of the network behind two suicide...

Indonesia deports Chinese, Taiwanese scam...

Aug 3, 2017

Indonesia deported more than 140 Chinese and Taiwanese suspects to China, where they are wanted for...

News

Sign up now!