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Bank of Canada delivers shock rate cut as ECB gears up for QE

Bank of Canada Governor Poloz is framed by seats while speaking during a news conference upon the release of the Monetary Policy Report in Ottawa  Bank of Canada delivers shock rate cut as ECB gears up for QE 2015 01 22T052428Z 1 LYNXMPEB0L05X RTROPTP 2 CANADA CENBANKBy Randall Palmer and John O'Donnell OTTAWA/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada joined the list of "unpredictable" central banks on Wednesday with a shock quarter point rate cut as the European Central Bank prepared a 600 billion euro ($695 billion) bond-buying program aimed at lifting Europe out of its economic doldrums. The Canadian move came in response to a sharp drop in oilprices that hit the commodity-dependent economy, expected togrow by just 1.5 percent in the first half of this year comparedwith the central bank's previous forecast of 2.4 percent. The surprise move follows Denmark's rate cut this week and ashock Jan. 15 decision by the Swiss National Bank to drop itscap on the Swiss currency against the euro and cut its ratesfurther, likely in anticipation of the ECB's money printingplan, which appears set to weaken the euro. Brazil's was the standout central bank, with its "Copom" monetary committee raising rates as expected for the second straight meeting by 50 basis points to 12.25 percent, its highest level since August 2011, in an attempt to contain inflation and restore some investor confidence.

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