Australia says buys $2.9 bln on first day of QE

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

Earlier in the day, the RBA had proposed buying up to A$5 billion of bonds with maturity between two years and eight years, maturing in July 2022, April 2023, November 2027 and May 2028.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reduced its cash rate to an all-time low of 0.25% following an out-of-schedule meeting on Thursday, and said it would do “whatever is necessary” to keep yields on three-year government bonds low. (Reporting by Swati Pandey; editing by Jane Wardell)

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