Australia central bank suspends media lock-up due to coronavirus restrictions

Australia, NZ hit fresh closing peaks on positive global data, trade deal

SYDNEY, March 25 (Reuters) – Australia’s central bank has suspended the media lock-up arrangement at its Sydney head office until further notice, it said on Wednesday amid restrictions on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia now has more than 2,000 coronavirus cases with the pace of infection rising rapidly, prompting the government to close food outlets, place limits on weddings and funeral attendees and ban overseas travel.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said there would be no alternative arrangement to provide releases in advance to journalists, including minutes of its policy meetings, the semi-annual Financial Stability Review and quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy.

These documents will be published on the RBA’s website on the scheduled days.

The next release under the RBA’s new arrangement will be the minutes of its ad-hoc March 18 policy meeting on Wednesday. The RBA had cut interest rates to a record low of 0.25% and announced a foray into quantitative easing. (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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