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China Reduces Interest Rates for First Time Since 2008

China cut borrowing costs for the first time since 2008 and loosened controls on banks’ lending and deposit rates, stepping up efforts to combat a deepening slowdown as Europe’s debt crisis threatens global growth.

The one-year lending rate declines by a quarter percentage point today to 6.31 percent, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement yesterday. The one-year deposit rate drops the same amount, to 3.25 percent. The extra leeway banks will get to determine rates at variance from the official setting was called a “milestone” by UBS AG.