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Trump's trade war starts to scare Asia's central banks

Region right to prepare for rough waters and choppy markets

| Southeast Asia
Stabilizers such as rate cuts or fiscal stimulus measures are no match for the headwinds Trump versus Xi is generating.   © Reuters

The U.S. Federal Reserve may soon bow to President Donald Trump's intensifying trade war. But Asia's monetary authorities are ahead of Chairman Jerome Powell.

Last month, Malaysia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time since July 2016. Its 25 basis-point cut to 3% was a telltale sign of mounting global risks. Now, markets are buzzing about possible easing steps in China, Indonesia and elsewhere amid growing collateral damage from the U.S. president's tariffs.

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