BANGKOK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Thailand’s central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate for a third time in six months on Wednesday, taking it to a fresh record low as a new virus from China puts further pressure on the flagging economy.
The Bank of Thailand’s (BOT) monetary policy committee voted unanimously to cut the one-day repurchase rate by 25 basis point to a record low of 1.0%, the lowest in Asia outside of Japan.
In a Reuters poll, 14 of 23 economists had predicted no policy change on Wednesday, while the others forecast a 25 basis-point cut.
The BOT had cut the rate by a quarter-point in August and November but left it unchanged in December. (Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon; Editing by Kim Coghill Editing by xx)