ASIA CENTRAL BANKS TO SLOW RATE
Asian central banks that have been forced into aggressive rate hikes this year have been given some breathing room in 2019, after the U.S. Federal Reserve struck a more dovish tone in its monetary policy for the year ahead, Nikkei Asian Review reports. Bank Indonesia kept is benchmark interest rates unchanged on Thurday, capping off a busy year in which it was forced to raise its policy rate six times by a total of 175 basis points as the rupiah plummeted against the U.S. dollar. Previously on Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter-point to 2.25 per cent. Fed officials now forecast two hikes next year, down from three rate raises previously projected, as the U.S. economic growth is expected to slow down.