Australia Holds Key Rate at 1.5% as Unemployment Edges Up

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Australia left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low Tuesday after the key unemployment metric edged higher, Bloomberg News reported. Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe kept the cash rate at 1.5 percent, where it has stood since 2016, as expected by all economists. The jobless rate hit 5.6 percent in April, moving further away from the central bank’s estimated level of full employment. The global picture has also become more clouded amid an emerging-market rout, populism in Europe and U.S. trade tariffs. “Financial markets have been affected by political developments in the eurozone, particularly in Italy,” Lowe said in a statement. “There are also concerns about the direction of international trade policy in the United States and economic developments in a few emerging market economies.” Read more.