Australia Keeps Rates Steady As Expected, But Aussie Dollar Gains

The Reserve Bank of Australia voted to keep its benchmark cash rate unchanged Tuesday, also retaining its outlook for a stable policy in the near term. The move -- which keeps the rate at 2.5%, where it has been since August 2013 -- was widely expected. RBA Gov. Glenn Stevens's statement accompanying the decision showed little change from the previous missive on Oct. 7, again saying that "on present indications, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates." Despite the lack of any surprises from the latest policy meeting, the Australian dollar firmed slightly after the announcement, rising to 87.15 U.S. cents from 86.98 U.S. cents. As for stocks, the S&P/ASX 200 held to a 0.3% gain.

Copyright © 2014 MarketWatch, Inc.