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RBA Leaves Rates on Hold

reserve bank

The Reserve Bank of Australia board has kept interest rates on hold, leaving the official cash rate at 4.25 percent.

The shock move comes as many parts of the economy continue to struggle with the side effects of the mining boom.

Data published yesterday showed retail trade contracted 0.1 percent in December, traditionally the sector’s strongest month.

In anticipation of a rate cut, the Prime Minister and Treasurer earlier urged banks to pass on the cut in full.

But the board’s decision means mortgage holders and borrowers will have to wait another month in hope of further interest rate relief.

The CEO of mortgage comparison company RateCity, Damian Smith, told ninemsn the surprise announcement does not spell impending doom for mortgagees.

"Borrowers shouldn’t be disheartened that the Reserve Bank kept the cash rate at 4.25 percent today because the sluggish home loans market means the ball is in your court," Mr Smith said.

"We’re seeing lenders offering discounts of up to one percent off their standard variable rates for basic home loans and many lenders — including the big four banks — have said they are willing to negotiate to retain their share of the home loan market."

The Australian dollar rose sharply immediately after the news, up more than 0.7 of a US cent.

At 1432 (AEDT), the currency was at 107.79 US cents, compared with 107.06 US cents just before the RBA announced its decision at 1430 (AEST) today.

Source: www.ninemsn.com.au

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