Malaysia raises interest rate in surprise move

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s central bank unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate from a historical low on Wednesday, as rising commodity prices, strained supply chains and strong demand conditions fanned inflationary pressures.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) raised its overnight policy rate to 2% from the record low of 1.75%. A Reuters poll of 18 economists had expected rates to remain unchanged this week, with the central bank likely to start tightening next quarter to avert rising inflationary pressures.