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The Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 80.48 cents USA, down 0.04 of a U.S. cent, recovering from greater losses earlier in the session after the central bank said it would raise its key interest rate target by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.25 per cent.

The central bank said while higher interest rates would be justified "over time, some continued monetary policy accommodation will likely be needed to keep the economy operating close to potential and inflation on target" close to two percent. The bank increased its rates in July and September in 2017.

Ever since President Trump won the USA presidential election in November, this was the first release of the current predictions and extensive economic valuation by the Bank. The Bank's outlook takes into account a small benefit to Canada's economy from stronger USA demand arising from recent tax changes.

The promise by Trump to have the policy amended together with his patriot vow which would cost export and Canadian investment.

"Business investment has been increasing at a solid pace, and investment intentions remain positive", the bank said. He added that by giving Nafta uncertainty prominent play in the rate statement, BOC Gov. Stephen Poloz is indicating further rate rises won't be "fast and furious".

Overall, the Bank of Canada said slack, or unused capacity, in the labor market has disappeared more quickly than anticipated. We concur with the Bank's assessment that "some accommodation will likely be needed to keep the economy operating close to potential and inflation on target" and we believe that the Bank will need to slow the pace of rate hikes in 2019 (we now have the overnight rate holding at 2.25%, below the 3.00% mid-point of the Bank's estimated neutral rate range, largely reflecting the impact of higher rates on high household debt). 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.

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Exports were expected to be impacted by the tax and trade factors as well.

Moving forward, the bank predicted household spending and investment to gradually contribute less to economic growth, given the higher interest rates and stricter mortgage rules.

The February gold contract was up US$2.10 cents to US$1,339.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was down three cents to US$3.19 a pound.

The bank said it expects global economy to continue to strengthen, with growth expected to average 3.5 per cent.

The Monetary Policy Report assessed the key risks to the economic outlook.

Many note that Poloz has indicated that interest rate decisions will be data dependent.