(Pexels)

Loonie soars as interest rates rise

The Bank of Canada hiked the interest rate for the first time in 7 years on Wednesday.

The Canadian dollar soared this morning after the Bank of Canada announced it was hiking its key lending rate.

The loonie was up 0.67 of a U.S. cent at 78.06 cents US about an hour after the central bank’s decision. The last time the dollar closed above 78 cents US was in August 2016.

The Bank of Canada says it’s raising its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.75 per cent — its first increase in nearly seven years.

It had slashed its interest rates in 2015 to help the economy deal with a plunge in oil prices that began in late 2014. The bank’s governor has said recently that those rate cuts have done their job.

Canada’s dollar has been rising for weeks amid growing expectations that the rate would be raised. Its gain was was also helped on Wednesday by higher oil and gold prices.