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Australia’s central bank held interest rates steady at 1.5 per cent in its first meeting since data showed the country’s economy grew in the fourth quarter, avoiding a recession.

The Reserve Bank of Australia noted an improvement in the global economy in recent months, which had helped lift commodity prices creating a “significant boost to Australia’s national income”.

Figures published last week showed Australia’s economy returned to growth in the fourth quarter after a surprise contraction in the third, meaning the country avoided its first recession in 25 years.

The Australian dollar is up 0.3 per cent at $0.7601 after rising as much as 0.6 per cent following the RBA’s announcement.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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