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Indonesia and Philippines cut rates as recessions bite

Both Southeast Asian economies have been battered by the coronavirus

Both Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Bank Indonesia cut rates on Thursday. (Source photos by Takaki Kashiwabara and Reuters) 

JAKARTA/MANILA -- The central banks of Indonesia and the Philippines -- two Southeast Asian countries that have been hammered by COVID-19 -- both cut benchmark interest rates on Thursday.

Indonesia, which is in recession for the first time in two decades, lowered its key rate for the fifth time this year. The Philippines, also mired in negative growth, defied market expectations with a surprise easing move.

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