China Cuts Rates, Looks to Avoid 'Hard Landing'

China's central bank cut interest rates for the second time in two months on Thursday in the latest attempt to bolster slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy.

Benchmark lending rates will be lowered by 31 basis points to 6 percent, and deposit rates will be reduced by 25 basis points to 3 percent, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its website.

The latest rate cut is effective from Friday. The central bank last cut interest rates on June 7.

In addition to cutting lending and deposit rates, the central bank took another step in liberalising interest rates by lowering the ceiling for lending rates to 70 percent of benchmark rates, from 80 percent previously.