Australian Dollar Surges as RBA's Stevens Talks Up Economy, Hints at Rate Hikes

[B]Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens[/B] struck a decidedly hawkish tone at a speech in Sydney, driving home the point that going forward the central bank is now actively trying to time a return to higher interest rates. Stevens said Australia is faring better through the global downturn than other developed economies, noting that “confidence has recovered ground” and boasting that “unemployment is rising slower than expected”. He went on to stress that central banks should not relax their commitment to keep inflation anchored through the recession, a clear hint that global tightening of monetary policy should now be on the table. That said, Stevens conceded that some stimulus needs to remain in place for now and conceded that the timing of unwinding expansionary policy presents a challenge. The market greeted the RBA chief’s comments, with the Australian Dollar surging 50 pips in a mere 30 minutes.