Bank of Canada interest rates.

The Bank of Canada held its key interest rate at a historically low 1% but hinted the rate could rise sooner than previously expected. "Some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary policy stimulus may become appropriate," said Governor Mark Carney in what was perceived as the clearest signal yet that interest rates will move higher. "The timing and degree of any such withdrawal will be weighed carefully against domestic and global economic developments," he said.However, Canadian inflation figures released Friday indicated there is little immediate pressure to raise rates. Annual inflation fell to 1.9% in March from 2.6% in February, largely because of moderating price increases for food and energy.