UPDATE 2-Bank of Canada holds rates, frets about low inflation

Wed Mar 5, 2014 10:53am EST
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* Central bank holds benchmark rate steady at 1.0 pct

* Repeats that rates could go up or down, depending on data

* Says risk of weak inflation remains

* Outlook for inflation, growth largely unchanged

* Sees soft landing in housing market

By Louise Egan and David Ljunggren

OTTAWA, March 5 (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada continued to express concerns about weak inflation on Wednesday, even after consumer prices picked up markedly in January, and repeated that its next move on interest rates could be either up or down.

The central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.0 percent, as expected, extending a freeze that has lasted more than three years. Analysts do not expect the bank to move on rates until the third quarter of next year.   Continued...