New Zealand surprises with rate cut

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Thursday cut the benchmark official cash rate a quarter point to 8%.

It is the first time since July 2003 that the central bank has lowered rates, which have been at their highest level since the Reserve Bank introduced the official cash rate in 1999 since last July.

Data published late June showed New Zealand's economy shrunk by 0.3% in the first quarter of this year, prompting speculation that the Reserve Bank would cut. But most analysts expected a rate ho

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