Australia cuts its benchmark interest rate quarter percentage point to record low of 2 percent

Australia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 2 percent in a bid to jolt the nation's economy which is weighed by falling commodity prices and weakening demand from China.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's quarter percentage point rate cut on Tuesday was the first in three months.

Before the last cut in February, the interest rate had been steady at 2.5 percent since August 2013.

Economists had largely anticipated the move, although some suspected the bank would hold off until after the government released its budget next week for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.