Tensions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war escalated sharply over the last few days, with much happening as Asian markets were shut down for the weekend.China Economyread more
The latest round of tariff announcements in the last few days means that by the end of the year, essentially all Chinese goods exported to the U.S. will be subject to duties.China Economyread more
Futures fell after Trump said the U.S. will raise tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese imports, increasing trade tensions.Marketsread more
Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung says the Singapore government has been preparing for the challenge of an aging workforce "for the past 20 years."Employmentread more
World leaders, environmental groups and celebrities have publicly decried the vast swaths of forest being destroyed by the fires.World Newsread more
Carl Medlock used to work at Tesla. Now he's one of the few people in the U.S. that can fix the company's original Roadster electric vehicles.Technologyread more
Hours after President Trump said Sunday he had "second thoughts" about escalating the trade war with China, the White House sought to explain his remark because it was...Politicsread more
President Donald Trump said that he would have a major trade deal with U.K. after it leaves the European Union.Politicsread more
Despite Kudlow's expectations, China said on Saturday that it strongly opposes Trump's decision to levy additional tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods, and warned...Politicsread more
President Donald Trump said Sunday he was not happy after North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles over the weekend.Politicsread more
(Adds quotes, details)
* Committee votes 5-2 to cut rate 25 bps to 1.50%
* Rate cut 'buys time' as higher risk weighed - c.bank official
* Baht has strengthened about 5.6% vs dollar this year
BANGKOK, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Thailand's central bank on Wednesday unexpectedly cut its benchmark rate, expressing worry about strength of the baht and aiming to help support faltering growth.
The Bank of Thailand (BOT), which in December hiked the benchmark for the first time since 2011, voted 5-2 to cut one-day repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 1.50% - a quarter- point above the record low.
Titanun Mallikamas, secretary of the BOT's monetary policy committee, told a news conference a rate cut was to "buy time" as the central bank assessed heightened risks of trade wars and external factors.
The committee said it was worried about baht strength.
In a Reuters poll, 14 of 15 economists had predicted no rate change on Wednesday while the other forecast a quarter-point cut.
The Thai central bank was the third in Asia to cut rates on Wednesday.
New Zealand's central bank stunned markets by cutting interest rates a steep 50 basis points and even flagged the risk of going nuclear by taking rates below zero.
Then the Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates for a fourth straight meeting in 2019, making a 35 basis point (bp)trim rather than the predicted 25 bps cut.
Slow economic growth, below-target inflation and the strong baht - it is Asia's best performing currency this year - had prompted some calls to erase December's 25 basis point rate hike, Thailand's first increase in more than seven years.
In June, the BOT cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to 3.3% from 3.8%, and predicted no export expansion.
The MPC said on Wednesday growth was expected to be lower than forecast and below potential.
The baht eased after the decision, at was 30.81 per U.S. dollar at 0750 GMT Wednesday. It has gained about 5.6% this year, driven by capital inflows.
Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of capital markets research of Kasikornbank, said Wednesday's split decision to cut rates "suggests that the baht's great outperformance this year and related headaches to the economy were too great to ignore."
"They have used their only policy bullet."
(Additional reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai Editing by Richard Borsuk)