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AFTER THE BELL: Central Bank maintains overnight rate, green day on Wall Street as U.S./China trade talks continue

The Bank of Canada is standing pat on its benchmark interest rate.

The central bank announced this morning that it has maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.75 percent.

Factors in the BoC’s decision included a drop in oil prices, which it notes “has a material impact on the Canadian outlook,” the U.S./China trade war weighing on global demand and commodity prices, Canada’s changing real estate market, and the backpedaling global economy.

The BoC has raised rates five times since the summer of 2017.

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The central bank also predicted a slowdown in Canada’s economy, projecting that the real GDP will grow by 1.7 per cent in 2019, 0.4 percent slower than its October outlook.

The rate decision didn’t slow down the TSX, which climbed 199 points.

Ten of 11 sectors were in the green, including the heavyweight financials and energy sectors, which moved up 1.4 percent and two percent, respectively.

Stocks were led by a lift among cannabis producers and a 6.5 percent jump in industrial bellwether Bombardier.

In New York, the Dow continues to rally. The index pared earlier gains but still finished 91 points higher, held up by a lift in oil prices, continuing trade talks between the U.S. and China, and a robust December jobs report.

It was also a positive day for the tech-heavy Nasdaq which moved up 60 points with a 2.1 percent jump by Apple and Micron shares jumping 6.7 percent.

Oil surged $2.38 to $52.16 US a barrel. Helping to power the increase was Saudi Arabia delivering on its promise to cut output. According to CNBC, oil prices have risen roughly 17 percent over the past eight days.

The Canadian dollar gained more ground on the greenback, strengthening another 35/100ths of a cent to $0.7567 US while gold jumped $8.70 to $1,294 an ounce.

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