The Bank of Japan kept ultra-low interest rates on Friday and maintained its dovish guidance, cementing its status as an outlier among global central banks tightening monetary policy, as recession fears dampen prospects for a solid recovery.
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As widely expected, the BOJ left unchanged its -0.1 per cent target for short-term interest rates and a pledge to guide the 10-year bond yield around 0 per cent.
Following are excerpts from BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s comments at his post-meeting news conference, which was conducted in Japanese, as translated by Reuters:
“It’s extremely important for exchange rate moves to reflect economic and financial fundamentals. Recent sharp, one-sided drop in yen heightens uncertainty for Japanese companies, so are bad for the economy.”
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“There are various uncertainties that could either push up or down prices, such as the outlook for wages and corporate price-setting behaviour. We need to scrutinise these factors.”
“We expect wages to gradually rise, reflecting recent inflation. But we’d like to look at not just numbers but the mechanism at which wages and prices are moving.
“For now, we don’t expect to stably and sustainably achieve 2 per cent inflation next fiscal year.”