Bank of Canada's Poloz says rate cuts have done their job


The Canadian dollar continued to climb Thursday as speculation grew that the Bank of Canada is ready to raise its key interest rate sooner rather than later.

That's up from 30 per cent on Tuesday.

Gains for the loonie came after it scored on Wednesday its biggest advance in three months, boosted by hawkish comments from Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.

She says intelligence gathering is particularly important during periods of great uncertainty - and to support her point she gave an example from the late-2014 oil-price collapse. "But we're just approaching a new interest rate decision so I don't want to prejudge", he said in the interview.

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The increase was also helped by an uptick in oil prices, with the August crude contract adding 19 cents at US$44.93 per barrel.

"But certainly we need to be at least considering that whole situation now that the capacity excess capacity is being used up steadily".

Canadian government bond prices lower across a steeper yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries and German Bunds, pressured by the view that global central banks are becoming less accommodative.

In recent weeks, a shift toward more "hawkish" statements by Poloz and the bank's senior deputy governor, Carolyn Wilkins, suggested the bank was moving closer to its first rate increase in almost seven years.

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Still, a softer-than-expected inflation report last Friday led some analysts to believe the bank might wait until the fall or later before introducing a rate increase.

He says he expects the Canadian dollar to "take a break" over the next few days because it has risen a full US cent against the greenback in two days.

All things being equal, a rate hike makes a country's currency stronger, as investors can get more for their money when they invest in assets denominated in that currency.

By the end of the year, the market has fully discounted a rate hike and is about one-third priced for a second tightening.

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He says the drop in oil prices set Canada's economy back - causing the Bank of Canada to compensate by lowering interest rates - but growth has returned to a more normal pace.