Japan’s central bank keeps monetary policy

TOKYO, Japan’s central bank maintained its monetary easing measures on Thursday, while vowing to examine increasing risks toward achieving the price stability target.

At the end of a two-day policy meeting, Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and his eight board colleagues voted by 7 to 2 to keep short-term rates at minus 0.1 percent and long-term rates around zero percent, according to a statement released by the BOJ.

The central bank will continue to buy the government bonds to increase its holdings at an annual pace of about JPY 80 trillion (USD 740 billion) and exchange-traded funds at JPY 6 trillion (USD 56 billion) respectively, it said.

The BOJ policymakers also decided to examine the risks considered most relevant to the conduct of monetary policy and make policy adjustments as appropriate with a view to maintaining the momentum toward achieving its 2 percent inflation target.

“The BOJ judges that it is becoming necessary to pay closer attention to the possibility that the momentum toward achieving the price stability target will be lost,” the statement said, pointing out that slowdowns in overseas economies have continued to be observed and their downside risks seem to be increasing recently.

The central bank also said it intends to maintain the current extremely low levels of short- and long-term interest rates for an extended period of time, at least through around spring 2020.

The decision came after the US Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates by 0.25 percentage points to 1.75 to 2 percent Wednesday amid concerns about slowing global growth and trade war with China.

Last week, the European Central Bank also reduced its deposit rate by 0.1 point to minus 0.5 percent and said it will resume purchase of government bonds.

Source: Kuwait News Agency