News Summary: Australia cuts key interest rate
THE MOVE: Australia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point Tuesday, taking it to 3 percent. That's the lowest level since April 2009, during the global financial crisis.
THE REASON: Slower growth in China, uncertainty over the U.S. economic outlook and stubbornly weak conditions in Europe are hurting the Australian economy.
THE BACKGROUND: Chinese demand for mineral resources, particularly iron ore, fueled a mining boom in Australia during the global downturn. But with growth slowing in China and commodity prices lower, economists worry that Australia's mining boom will soon end.