Experts cool December hike predictions

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Investors in financial markets have cut the odds of a 1 December Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) interest rate hike of 0.25% from 76% to 64%.

The shift comes after the RBA released the minutes of its last meeting in which it appeared to tone down its commitment to increasing rates in the near future.

The RBA said that although it remained optimistic about the economy both in Australia and abroad, it suggested the timing of raises did not necessarily have to be swift.

"If economic conditions evolved as expected, further gradual adjustment in the cash rate would most likely be appropriate over time, though the pace of the adjustment remained open to question," said the minutes from the 3 November meeting which resulted in the latest of three successive 25 basis point increases in the cash rate.

The minutes continued, "Business and consumer confidence could prove more fragile, and economic activity at home and abroad might slow more than expected as the effects of stimulus measures faded. Also, the rise in the exchange rate would constrain out-put and dampen inflationary pressure."

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