Australia slashes on signs of flagging demand

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut rates by a full percentage point for the second time in as many votes on Tuesday, saying that a dip in confidence was impacting demand.

The cut, which was widely expected, leaves the benchmark cash rate at a 45-year low of 3.25%. The Reserve Bank has now cut rates by 400 basis points since September, during which time the central bank has loosened by 100 basis points on three occasions.

Glenn Stevens, the governor of the Reserve Bank, noted that the crisis was