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Westpac economists now see RBA delaying rate cut to April

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Analysts at Westpac Banking Corp now expect the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will cut interest rates in April, rather than February, following a second month of surprisingly upbeat jobs data.

[SYDNEY] Analysts at Westpac Banking Corp now expect the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will cut interest rates in April, rather than February, following a second month of surprisingly upbeat jobs data.

In a note to clients, chief economist Bill Evans said the dip in unemployment to a nine-month low of 5.1 per cent in December was probably enough to delay a cut.

"It is sufficiently strong a signal for the Board, which has emphasised the labour market as a key policy driver, to opt for a deferment of the rate cut process pending further information," said Mr Evans.

The RBA holds its next policy meeting on Feb 4 and the market had already sharply scaled back the chance of an easing following Thursday's employment report.

REUTERS