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RBA's Lowe says central bank unlikely to adopt negative rates

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said the central bank is unlikely to adopt negative interest rates in order to spur the economy and meet its inflation target.

"I'm not going to speculate on negative interest rates or quantitative easing in Australia other than to say I think negative interest rates are extraordinarily unlikely in my country," Lowe said during a Q&A at an International Monetary Fund event in Washington, D.C.

He disagreed that the country needed a lot more work to get inflation back to target and growth back to trend, saying the economy is "gradually improving" from a "soft patch" over the last year.

The RBA earlier this month cut the cash rate to a fresh record low, and signaled that it could ease its policy further if needed to achieve its targets.

The Australian dollar inched up 0.1% versus the U.S. currency around 3:12 a.m. ET.