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Malaysia and Australia cut rates to counter coronavirus threat

Preventive measures spread among Asia-Pacific central banks

The coronavirus outbreak is fueling sales of masks in Malaysia but threatens to derail economies in the Asia-Pacific region.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's central bank trimmed its key policy interest rate on Tuesday to 9-year low while Australia cut its to a record low, as the coronavirus outbreak begins to spook the two economies.

Bank Negara Malaysia cut the overnight policy rate 25 basis points to 2.5% -- the second cut since January -- which dropped the rate to its lowest since March 2011.

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