Have Australian rates peaked?

The statement accompanying the latest monetary-policy decision of the Reserve Bank of Australia suggests that the central bank's long cycle of monetary tightening may be over.

In a widely anticipated decision, the Australian central bank left interest rates on hold at 7.25% on Thursday. Since May 2002, the central bank has increased rates by 25 basis points on 12 occasions. The last time rates were cut was in December 2001.

Analysts are increasingly convinced that this protracted phase of mon

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