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Hong Kong, Gulf central banks cut rate after Fed move

A number of central banks in the Middle East and Hong Kong's monetary authority slashed their interest rates after the U.S. Federal Reserve's widely expected decision to ease its own policy.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority decided to lower its repo rate to 275 basis points from 300 basis points, and its reverse repo rate to 225 basis points from 250 basis points. The Qatar Central Bank on Aug. 1 reduced its lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.75%.

The Central Bank of Bahrain cut its key policy interest rate on the one-week deposit facility to 2.50% from 2.75%. It also lowered the overnight deposit rate to 2.25% from 2.50%, the one-month deposit rate to 2.85% from 3.10% and the lending rate to 4.25% from 4.50%.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates reduced the interest rates applied to the issuance of certificates of deposits in line with the Fed's move. The central bank also reduced the repo rate applicable to borrowing short-term liquidity against certificates of deposits by 25 basis points.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Kuwait kept its discount rate at 3.0%. Unlike its Gulf peers, Kuwait ties its dinar to a basket of currencies instead of the U.S. dollar.

Elsewhere, the Central Bank of Jordan cut the interest rates on all monetary policy instruments by 25 basis points, effective Aug. 4, while the Hong Kong Monetary Authority slashed its base rate by 25 basis points to 2.50%, its first cut in more than a decade.

The Fed lowered its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points July 31, a move that Chairman Jerome Powell described as a "midcycle adjustment" rather than the start of a lengthy easing cycle.