Hedge funds boosted bets on rising commodities to the highest in 15 months, driving prices into a bull market as the U.S. drought worsened and the Federal Reserve signaled it may take more steps to spur economic growth.
Australia’s four biggest lenders are divided over whether Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens and his board will resume reductions next week in the highest benchmark interest rate among major developed nations.
Australian business confidence fell in April for a second straight month and advertisements for job vacancies dropped for the first time since January, a sign the central bank’s interest-rate increases may cool domestic demand.
Australia’s central bank may push back its next interest rate rise by three months as languishing consumer spending gives it time to assess Europe’s debt crisis and whether a mining investment boom will stoke inflation.
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said foreign-reserve-rich emerging nations are concerned about their U.S. and European debt and probably want to aid indebted developed countries through the International Monetary Fund.