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Market Overview The Bank of Canada held interest rates steady as expected on Wednesday and indicated the pace of future hikes could be more gradual as the economy is hit by slumping prices for oil, one of Canada's main exports.
The central bank cut its near-term growth forecasts to reflect the impact of weaker crude but said the slowdown should be temporary and predicted the economy would post above-potential growth in 2020.
The bank has raised rates five times since July 2017 and as recently as last month said the pace of future hikes could be sped up depending on economic data. It made clear on Wednesday however that such talk was redundant for now.
Looking ahead, the bank said exports and non-energy investment were expected to grow solidly, backed by foreign demand, a new North American free trade pact, the lower Canadian dollar and federal tax measures aimed at investment.
The central bank said it expected weak crude prices since the middle of last year to cut GDP by about 0.5% by the end of 2020. "The lower Canadian dollar will support non-energy exports and employment and also play a buffering role for oil producers," the bank said in its quarterly Monetary Policy Report.
The USD/CAD keeps pace with broad market and moves lower after Powell's dovish lean Friday. Today’s BoC decision has not changed the recent trend. The USD/CAD broke below 1.3286, 23.6% Fibo of 2017-2019 rise, which is an important bearish signal. We have placed a sell order at 1.3350.
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