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US, China kick off global round of rate cuts
Updated: 2008-10-30 06:55

As the US presidential campaign hit the final stretch before the November 4 vote, Republican John McCain questioned Democratic rival Barack Obama's readiness for the White House, saying he would be bad news for small business.

Obama, who polls show is trusted more on the economy by voters, said McCain's policies would hurt the middle class.

British finance minister Alistair Darling said Britain is moving into recession and the government will need to spend more and forget about its self-imposed limits on borrowing for the time being.


The Bank of Japan will consider cutting rates on Friday but will watch market conditions before deciding, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England are expected to ease policy at their regular meetings next week. The ECB is expected to cut a half point off rates to 3.25 percent, according to a Reuters poll.

Governments have pledged about $4 trillion to support banks and restart money markets to try to stem the crisis set off by the bursting of a bubble in the US housing market.

There were more signs that the acute financing difficulties were easing. The closely watched rates that banks charge each other to borrow dollars fell again as central banks continued to inject extra liquidity into the system.

As credit lines have dried up, a growing number of governments have had to look for help from global lenders.

The IMF, European Union and World Bank agreed to a $25.1 billion economic rescue package for Hungary.

Ukraine, Belarus, Pakistan and Iceland are also in various stages of seeking, securing or considering IMF help.

South Korea denied speculation it was seeking IMF support but said it would ease won liquidity requirements on banks to help bring down their funding costs.

IMF officials have said the fund may need additional resources in a prolonged crisis and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday China and the Gulf countries could do more to help the IMF support countries hit by the financial crisis.

The US Federal Reserve established four new currency swap lines with Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Singapore, to ease dollar funding shortages.

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