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Fed boss sees no rush to boost rates

WASHINGTON (AP) -Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent a fresh signal yesterday that he's in no rush to reverse course and start boosting interest rates.

The Fed's key bank lending rate is now at a record low near zero and will probably stay there for an "extended period," Bernanke said in a speech to a Fed conference in Washington.

That echoed the pledge he and his colleagues made at their meeting in late September. The goal: super-low rates will entice people and businesses to spend more, nurturing the budding recovery.

In a surprise move earlier this week, Australia's central bank raised rates, the first nation in the Group of 20 countries to do so. The move raised questions about which country would be next.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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