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Canada's central bank cuts key interest rate amid oil slump

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TORONTO — Canada's central bank is cutting its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point because of the recent sharp drop in oil prices.

The Bank of Canada unexpectedly cut its trend-setting rate on Wednesday to three quarters of a percentage point from one percent.

The bank says the price collapse poses considerable uncertainty for economic growth in the oil-producing nation.

It is the first time the bank has moved its overnight rate in either direction in nearly four and a half years

Most economists had been predicting the bank to stand pat on the interest rate today and hike it late this year or in early 2016.

The Canadian province of Alberta has the world's third largest oil reserves, with 170 billion barrels of proven reserves.

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