Canada’s Central Bank Cuts Rate To 0.5 Percent

TORONTO — Canada’s central bank cut its interest rate by one-half point to 0.5 percent — the lowest in history.

The Bank of Canada urged other countries to implement timely and ambitious plans to address toxic assets and recapitalize financial institutions.

The central bank said Tuesday the rate cut is a precondition for stabilization and recovery. It added that potential delays could mean no recovery until early 2010. The bank previously predicted growth in the second half of 2009.

The latest interest rate cut means the bank has cut 4 percentage points off the overnight rate since it began the current easing policy in December 2007.