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TSX Flat As BoC Stand Pat On Interest Rates

Canadian stocks were flat Wednesday despite plunging oil prices, as the Bank of Canada held steady on interest rates.

"While higher interest rates will likely be required over time, (the bank's) governing council will continue to be cautious," the bank said in a statement. The BoC left its key rate at one percent for a second straight meeting.

The TSX Composite Index slipped 5 points to 15,910.63.

Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) shares were hammered yesterday and fell another 1.3 percent today as an "internal audit uncovered some "documentation issues and client misrepresentations" in mortgages sold to a third party.

The affected mortgages which will be repurchased were worth $89 million.

"No employees were implicated in any misrepresentations and the documentation issues appear to have been unintentional," the bank said.

In other corporate news, a class action suit by Valeant Pharma (VRX.TO) investors has been cleared to go to trial. Shares fell 4.4 percent.

Dollarama (DOL.TO) said earnings were higher in the third quarter, narrowly beating market expectations. Shares were down 2 percent.

On the other hand, Hudson's Bay (HBC.TO) lost $243 million in its latest quarter on slumping sales. Shares plunged 13 percent.

Rogers Communication (RCI.B.TO) may sell its stake in the Toronto Blue Jays baseball squad. Shares were up fractionally.

WTI light sweet crude oil for January crude was down $1.66, or 2.9%, at $55.96 a barrel.

Employment in the U.S. private sector increased by slightly more than expected in the month of November, payroll processor ADP revealed in a report released on Wednesday.

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