Australia's interest rate kept on hold at 1.50 pct

Posted June 07, 2017

Everyone - from analysts, economists or interest rate traders - thinks that the cash rate will remain on hold at 1.50%.

The central bank left the cash rate at a record low 1.5 per cent at Tuesday's monthly board meeting, noting annual growth was expected to have slowed in the March quarter.

"Despite generally soft economic data ... we expect the RBA will wait to see further evidence that the Australian property market is indeed cooling before cutting rates in the second half of this year", Mr Eliseo said. Net exports likely to have subtracted 0.7ppt from Q1 GDP growth.

However, Dr Lowe noted that employment conditions remained mixed, with jobs growth strengthening while total hours worked and wage growth remained weak. However, there is nothing in the statement corroborating the market's slightly dovish lean as there is around 6bp of cuts price in through to Dec (most dovish pricing this year) so the Aussie could find support.

While the RBA was upbeat on global prospects, China continues to be the wildcard, said Dales.

The Australian dollar climbed after the RBA's announcement, rising to 74.86 U.S. cents by 1630 AEST, having earlier hit a low of 74.57 USA cents when weaker than expected exports data was released.

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Wide variations in the housing market have also contributed to uncertainty in the economy.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said financial markets were starting to lean towards a cut given that other sectors of the economy other than housing needed interest rates set at a lower level than the current rates.

'They are going to overlook the slowdown in GDP as a temporary blip.

The Reserve Bank of Australia slashed 300 basis points from borrowing costs between November 2011 and August past year to support non-resources industries as the economy transitions out of a mining investment boom.

As far as consumer prices go, the central bank's expectations are largely being met. Headline inflation returned to the bottom end of the RBA's 2% to 3% target in the first three months of the year after spending nine quarters below it, but the key core measure is yet to catch up.

However, Westpac has now halved its GDP forecast to a 0.2 per cent rise for the quarter and Commonwealth Bank has lowered its prediction from 0.3 per cent to 0.1 per cent, while National Australian Bank is sticking with its call for a 0.1 per cent contraction in the quarter "with slight downside risks".