Australia: central bank leaves benchmark interest rate on hold

Australia's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged Wednesday at 5.5 percent, the ninth straight month without a change. "At its meeting on Dec. 6, the Reserve Bank Board decided to leave the cash rate target unchanged at 5.5 percent," the Reserve Bank of Australia said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The decision had been expected by analysts.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia economist Michael Workman said that with no clear evidence that there are pressures pushing up inflation, the bank had no reason to lift rates, AP reports. P.T.

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