BOJ leaning toward easing, may do more than boost asset buying-sources

TOKYO Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:14am EDT

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TOKYO Oct 23 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan is leaning toward easing monetary policy again next week, according to sources familiar with its thinking, with policymakers considering combining a further increase in its asset-buying with other steps.

The central bank has been under renewed pressure to expand monetary stimulus at its Oct. 30 rate review when it is expected to cut its growth forecasts and push back the timing of hitting its 1 percent inflation target.

Many central bankers are thus leaning toward action, the sources interviewed in the past several days said.

The most likely option is a further 10 trillion yen ($126 billion) increase to the BOJ's asset buying and lending programme that now aims to pump 80 trillion yen in financial asset purchases and market operations by the end of next year.

The increase would mostly come in the form of government bond buying but may include a small increase purchases of exchange-traded funds (ETF) and real estate investment trusts (REIT), they said.

"The BOJ shouldn't hesitate if there are risks that Japan's recovery may be further delayed," said one source on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

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