Softly, softly: Emerging-market central banks resume easing cycle

LONDON (Reuters) - Emerging-market central banks cautiously revisited interest rate cuts last month following a hiatus in October, resuming an easing cycle that started in 2019 and had exceeded the cuts during the 2008 financial crisis and the 2010 euro crisis.

Central banks across a group of 37 developing economies delivered two net interest rate cuts in November after standing pat in October. A net four cuts in September had marked the 20th straight month of interest rate cuts, Reuters calculations showed.

Policy makers in Indonesia and the Philippines both unexpectedly reduced interest rates in November in a bid to reignite their economies, still reeling from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkey’s central bank ramped up its key interest rate by 475 basis points to 15% last month to shore up its battered currency and fend off inflation pressures.

At the peak of the last easing cycle in March, 27 of the 37 central banks cut interest rates, trying to protect their economies as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic rippled through markets around the world.

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Reporting by Karin Strohecker; graphic and data reporting by Ritvik Carvalho, editing by Larry King