Australia slashes rates by 100 basis points

The Reserve Bank of Australia shocked markets on Tuesday, opting to cut its key rate by a full percentage point to 6%, the steepest margin since 1992.

Markets had expected a half-point easing and the region's stock indices rallied on the news. Shares in the ASX 200 index were up an average of 1.7% at the close. The Nikkei 225 also rose on the news to close 3% down at 10,155 after falling below 10,000 for the first time since 2003 earlier in the day.

The Reserve Bank backed a steeper cut on si

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