- The Bank of Canada on Wednesday raised its key rate by 25 basis points, to 1.5%.
- It marked the fourth rate hike since last summer.
The Canadian dollar climbed versus the greenback Wednesday after Canada's central bank raised its key rate by 25 basis points, to 1.5%, marking the fourth hike since last summer.
The loonie rose 0.45% against the dollar following the announcement, which economists had widely expected.
"Canada's economy continues to operate close to its capacity and the composition of growth is shifting," the Bank of Canada said in a statement, adding: "Governing Council expects that higher interest rates will be warranted to keep inflation near target and will continue to take a gradual approach, guided by incoming data."
The policy meeting comes days after a strong jobs report. Canada added 31,800 jobs last month on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to Statistics Canada, beating economists' expectations. Wages also picked up at a solid pace of 3.6% year over year.
June also saw a comeback in the housing market, which had been sluggish this year amid the implementation of stricter mortgage rules. Construction starts jumped 27.9% last month, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Tuesday, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 248,138. Economists had expected housing starts to come in at about 210,000.
Stephen Brown, a senior economist at Capital Economics focusing on Canada, said a strong rebound in construction jobs showed that earlier declines "were due to unseasonably cold weather rather than a sign of trouble in the housing market."
The central bank noted the increasing tensions between the US and Canada, saying it had considered in its decision the estimated economic impact of tariffs.
President Donald Trump in May refused to extend to allies — including Canada — exemptions for tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hit back with retaliatory tariffs on about $12.6 billion worth of US products.
"Although there will be difficult adjustments for some industries and their workers, the effect of these measures on Canadian growth and inflation is expected to be modest," the BOC's statement said.
Mark McCormick, the head of North American foreign-exchange strategy at TD Securities, cautioned that the tariffs could weigh on the Canadian dollar.
"In the context of global trade tensions and the weakening macro story in Canada, we doubt the hike will do the loonie any favors," McCormick said.