Australian interest rates to remain stable

The Reserve Bank of Australia's quarterly statement on monetary policy said the global economy had lost momentum in late 2002 and that had weakened the case for rate rises this year.

Australia's central bank will keep rates on hold for some time yet. The inevitability of rises has waned and a slight possibility of cuts later this year has emerged.

"Under normal circumstances, conditions of above average growth in domestic demand such as those prevailing over the past year would have suggested a

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