(The Australian): PAUL Bloxham believes the RBA will hold off lifting interest rates till December, when a 25-basis point move up is more than likely. HSBC's chief economist for Australia and New Zealand today forecast the Reserve Bank of Australia is not likely to tighten policy at its November meeting next Tuesday, but investors should expect higher rates stemming from its meeting in December.
Mr Bloxham's views are closely watched given he recently joined HSBC from the RBA, where he held a range of roles in the economic analysis department over a 12-year period.
He was among only six economists in a Dow Jones Newswires poll of 25 who correctly forecast the central bank would hold its overnight target steady at 4.5 per cent in October.
The HSBC economist said that, with third-quarter core inflation proving more benign than anticipated, policy makers have another month to assess developments before making their first move since May.
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VAN ECK Global has launched the first US-listed fund investing exclusively in producers of strategic metals including rare earths.
The metals, used in electronics and military applications, have come under the spotlight recently as China, which produces virtually all of the globe's rare earths, has cut back exports of the materials.
Shares of Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF fell US99c, or 5 per cent, to $US19.51 in their first day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Prices of some of the 17 rare-earth materials have risen as much as 10-fold in the past two months alone, as some Japanese companies had reported delays in receiving shipments from China due to more-stringent customs checks by Chinese authorities.
Japan had said China was using the unofficial ban on exports to the nation as a bargaining chip in some territorial disputes.
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