News Summary: Australia Cuts Key Interest Rate

By The Associated Press

THE MOVE: Australia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point Tuesday, taking it to 3 percent. That's the lowest level since April 2009, during the global financial crisis.

THE REASON: Slower growth in China, uncertainty over the U.S. economic outlook and stubbornly weak conditions in Europe are hurting the Australian economy.

THE BACKGROUND: Chinese demand for mineral resources, particularly iron ore, fueled a mining boom in Australia during the global downturn. But with growth slowing in China and commodity prices lower, economists worry that Australia's mining boom will soon end.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from Stocks

Markets Look Confused After Latest Beating

Markets Look Confused After Latest Beating

General Electric Expulsion From Dow Symbolizes Unsettled Week in Markets

General Electric Expulsion From Dow Symbolizes Unsettled Week in Markets

How Small-Cap Stocks Can Protect Your Portfolio From a Trade War

How Small-Cap Stocks Can Protect Your Portfolio From a Trade War

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

3 Great Stock Market Sectors Millennials Should Invest In

3 Great Stock Market Sectors Millennials Should Invest In