China used conventional market levers instead of administrative orders to cool the economy and for the first time in nearly a decade, the People's Bank of China raised its benchmark interest rate by 27 basis points, just over a quarter of a percentage point, to 5.58% from 5.31%. Some analysts saw the move as the first of more hikes to bring growth, seen as unsustainable, under control. The Washington Post said rate changes in China used to be of little consequence to the outside world. "Not anymore. As the news reverberated through financial centers, stock markets declined from New York to London, and commodities prices slipped amid fears that China's voracious appetite for raw materials will wane." It was a sign, it said, of China's increasingly decisive role in the global economy.
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