Interest Rate Roundup

Monday, April 02, 2007

Even more overseas rate hikes on tap this week?

While the U.S. markets spin their wheels, I'm seeing some interesting action in a handful of countries overseas.

Take Australia -- the Aussie dollar is flying today, up about a percentage point against the greenback to a decade high. The catalyst was a strong retail sales report. It raises the odds the Reserve Bank of Australia will hike its overnight interest rate again to 6.5%.

Then there's the U.K. --The British pound is up more than a cent against the dollar. In fact, it's rapidly closing in on the $2 level (the point at which 1 pound will equal 2 U.S. dollars -- hope you're travelling to London anytime soon!). The gains stem from speculation the Bank of England will raise its short-term rate later this week.

Incidentally, the Reserve Bank of India also just raised rates to a 4 1/2 year high of 7.75%. Bank lending and economic growth there here have been surging, pushing inflation higher.


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