Australia to buy up to $2.9 bln in first round of QE

SYDNEY, March 20 (Reuters) – Australia’s central bank plans to buy up to A$5 billion ($2.87 billion) in local government bonds on the first day of its bond buying programme on Friday as it looks to cushion the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic.

Following an out-of-schedule meeting on Thursday, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reduced its cash rate to an all-time low of 0.25% and said it would do “whatever is necessary” to keep yields on three-year government bonds low.

On Friday, the RBA offered to buy bonds with maturity between two years and eight years, maturing in July 2022, April 2023, November 2027 and May 2028. (Reporting by Swati Pandey and Wayne Cole; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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