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JP Morgan now expects the Reserve Bank ofAustralia (RBA) to lower its benchamrk interest rates by 25 bais points to 0.5% in May compared to its previous forecast of a February rate cut. 

A majority of investment banks pushed back rate cut calls to April/May last week following the release of an upbeat Australian employment data for December. 

The above-forecast December inflation data released at 00:30 GMT further reinforced expectations for a status quo rate decision in February.