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.

People also read these

McDonald's sells China business in deal worth up to $2.1B

Jan 9, 2017

Fast-food giant McDonald's is selling a controlling stake in its China business to a group of...

China's growth edges up but 2016 weakest year since 1990

Jan 20, 2017

China reports its economy picked up pace in the last quarter, though its full-year performance was...

Asian shares waver, dollar soft after Fed keeps rates steady

Feb 2, 2017

Asian markets are wavering and the dollar has lost some steam after the Fed kept its key lending...

Global stocks rise on robust US jobs report

Feb 3, 2017

Global stocks are up after the U.S. employment report showed a strong increase of 227,000 jobs in...

China's exports jump 7.9 pct in January from year earlier

Feb 10, 2017

China reports its exports rose 7.9 percent in January over a year earlier, rebounding from the...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com