China's central bank has cut interest rates charged by lenders that finance small businesses in a new move to shore up lackluster economic growth.

The People's Bank of China on Thursday cut the raid charged for a one-week loan by smaller lenders from 5.5 percent to 3.25 percent. The rate for an overnight loan was cut from 4.5 percent to 2.75 percent.

Beijing has cut interest rates six times since last November as economic growth slowed. But those cuts applied to large banks that lend mostly to state industry, not entrepreneurs who generate most of China's new jobs and wealth.

Thursday's rate cut applied to city commercial banks, credit cooperatives and trust companies, which do a bigger share of their lending to small and private businesses.