Bank of Canada raises benchmark interest rate to 1.25%

A new survey suggests a third of Canadians can't pay their monthly bills including debt repayments against a backdrop of rising interest rates

"Today's rate hike was a rear-view mirror move, but the Bank of Canada hints that the view out the front window isn't quite as sunny", CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a research note to clients after the rate announcement.

These increases are expected to boost the Bank of Canada's qualification rate (which is based on an average of the big bank rates) this week from 4.99% to 5.14%.

"It seems the Bank of Canada is leaning towards a more dovish stance and certainly playing up the concerns around NAFTA". However, uncertainty surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is clouding the economic outlook. The latest increase follows two hikes in July and September.

The claim alleges the banks manipulated the Canadian dealer offered rate - which reflects what rate contributors are willing to lend to corporate clients using an instrument called a bankers' acceptance - from at least August 9, 2007, to June 30, 2014.

Uncertainty around US trade policy and recent tax reforms south of the border are expected to knock about 2.5 percent off business investment in Canada over the next two years, the Bank of Canada said on Wednesday.

Turkey condemns USA plans to build new Syrian border security force
About half the force will be SDF veterans, and recruiting for the other half is under way, the Public Affairs Office said. Washington opposes those autonomy plans, even as it has backed the SDF, the anti-ISIL coalition's main partner in Syria.

The fund is seeking unspecified damages for investors in the proposed class action for alleged violations of USA antitrust, commodity and anti-racketeering laws over the almost seven-year period. Trade flows are potentially at risk as the U.S., Canada and Mexico renegotiate Nafta at the behest of the Trump administration. The alleged violations, including conspiracy under the U.S. Sherman Act and manipulation of the Commodity Exchange Act, took place for nearly seven years, according to the filing. This has led to an escalation of political rhetoric between the trading partners, and prompted Canada to file an unusually broad trade complaint with the World Trade Organization against the USA trade regime. However, as uncertainty about the future of NAFTA is weighing increasingly on the outlook, the Bank has incorporated into its projection additional negative judgement on business investment and trade.

The bank also introduced into its projection the potential negative effects of recent US tax reforms, estimating they will take another 0.5 percent off Canadian investment by the end of next year. The bank pointed out that roughly half of Canada's exports to the United States benefited from preferential NAFTA tariffs in 2016.

In the coming months, according to the BoC, "consumption and residential investment are expected to contribute less to growth, given higher interest rates and new mortgage guidelines". The central bank sets rate policy with the aim of reaching and maintaining 2% inflation.

The bank acknowledged that labor market slack is being absorbed more rapidly than previously expected.

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