Australia's reserve bank raises interest rates

AUSTRALIA - Australia's central bank has raised interest rates for the first time in almost two years in a bid to curb inflation and protect its booming economy.

Australia's economic growth is outstripping that of most other industrialised countries, with gross domestic product (GDP) up 4% last year.

But low interest rates have led to an increase in house building, soaring house-prices and growing mortgage debt, which the central bank wants to curb.

The Reserve Bank of Australia raised its ke