The unemployment .. [read more] rate of 6.0 percent was a tick above forecasts and matched the January reading, which had been the highest in a decade. Read More Why Australia sharesmay webblog be http://lashaundab.skyrock.com poised to rally That soured hopes that the jobless rate had peaked for this cycle. "It's a mixed bag. We're still generating positive jobs numbers and that's good, but equally we've hit the sticker-shock number of 6 percent," said Michael Blythe, chief economist at Commonwealth Bank. "The bottom line is the economy is strong enough to be generating positive jobs growth, but it does underline the RBA's point of view that it's going to be a pretty slow grind before the unemployment rate is back on a downtrend again." Read More China keeps close watch as Abe visits Australia To stop the unemployment rate rising over time, Australia needs monthly jobs gains of at least 15,000 to match its relatively rapid population growth of 1.7 percent a year. That is one reason the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has cautioned that it would likely be many months before the unemployment rate began to fall in a sustained manner. The central bank has committed to keeping rates low for some time to come as the economy struggles with fading mining investment and a stubbornly high currency.
Australia caught in a 'difficult position': Expert
Kerry Brown, Director, China Studies Center at University of Sydney, says Australia is in a "difficult position" to remain neutral between Japan and China.
The steady outlook is reflected in the futures market which implied the cash rate would remain at 2.5 percent well into next year.