August 7, 2019 / 2:13 AM / 2 months ago

New Zealand's central bank stuns markets with 50-bp rate cut

WELLINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) stunned markets on Wednesday by cutting the official cash rate (OCR) by a bigger-than-expected 50 basis points to 1.00%, as it looks to prop-up a cooling economy in the face of intensifying global pressure.

“The Monetary Policy Committee agreed that a lower OCR is necessary to continue to meet its employment and inflation objectives,” RBNZ’s monetary policy committee said in a statement accompanying its rates decision.

The central bank lowered its cash rate by 25 basis points (bps) in May, and economists polled by Reuters had predicted policymakers would cut rates again this week by 25 bps.

The New Zealand dollar tumbled 1% to $0.6443, a 10-month low. (Reporting by Praveen Menon and Charlotte Greenfield; editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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