TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada became the first of the G7 major industrialized countries to begin hiking interest rates following the global financial crisis, raising its key rate on Tuesday by a quarter-point to 0.50 percent.
"It's certainly not a surprise to us and to the markets that the Bank of Canada did increase the policy rate but I think they were slightly more cautious, more dovish, than expected, in particular in noting that further rate hikes will be weighed carefully against domestic and global economic developments. Of course we continue to mention our bias for them to raise rates at the next few meetings. We expect 25 basis points but much of that will be based on a cautious assessment of not only domestic but global developments."
"No surprise in the decision but the tone was slightly more dovish than we or the markets had anticipated. It certainly suggests to us that the bank is not positioning for 50 basis point increases at least not in the near term as the market at some point may have priced in."
"The overall message is this: the Bank is sending a signal that this is not necessarily the start of a relentless campaign to crank interest rates higher. They will take this one step at a time."
"The last line (of the Bank's statement) is arguably the most important ... 'Given the considerable uncertainty surrounding the outlook, any further reduction of monetary stimulus would have to be weighed carefully against domestic and global economic developments' ... That's about as cautious language as you could ask for and I think they are being very deliberate in trying to talk to markets that are pricing in a whole series of rate hikes, regardless of the background."
"They delivered the goods on the current hike but kept markets guessing on their next moves."
"That lack of clarity on the bias has the (Canadian dollar) retreating a bit."
"I think they did the right thing for a central bank and given current market and global economic uncertainty you don't want to show your full hand under these circumstances. But my own personal belief is we still have the need for a made-in-Canada set of monetary policy conditions and that justifies continued hikes."
Reporting by Ka Yan Ng, Claire Sibonney and Euan Rocha; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson