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Australia central bank cuts interest rate to record low 3%

Published on Dec 4, 2012 5:43 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's central bank on Tuesday cut the official interest rate to a record low of 3.0 per cent, a level not seen since the financial crisis as China's slowdown squeezes the mining industry.

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens said ongoing troubles in Europe and the United States were overshadowing global growth prospects, with risks seen to the downside and local spending "relatively subdued" as a result.

"The board judged at today's meeting that a further easing in the stance of monetary policy was appropriate now," said Mr Stevens following the bank's monthly rates meeting. "This will help to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target over time."

Mr Stevens said Chinese growth looked to have stabilised but Asia was lagging as a result of its slowdown, with prices for Australia's key commodities "significantly lower", reducing the value of its exports by about 15 percent.

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