TOKYO, April 27 The Bank of Japan eased monetary
policy on Friday by expanding government bond purchases by 10
trillion yen ($123.8 billion), showing its determination to
achieve its new 1 percent inflation target.
But the central bank reduced by 5 trillion yen a pool of
funds set aside for fixed-rate market operations, reducing it to
30 trillion yen.
Combined with the increase in a separate fund for asset
purchases, the total size of the BOJ's asset buying and loan
programme was increased by 5 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen.
The BOJ increased by a small amount purchases of
exchange-traded funds and trust funds investing in property,
while extending the duration of government and corporate bonds
it targets under the scheme to three years from the current two
As widely expected, the BOJ maintained its key policy rate
at a range of zero to 0.1 percent by a unanimous vote.
The central bank will release its twice-yearly outlook
report, which serves as a basis for monetary policy decisions
and includes revised long-term economic and price forecasts, at
3 p.m. (0600 GMT).
Governor Masaaki Shirakawa will hold an embargoed news
conference with his comments to come out sometime after 4:15
p.m. (0715 GMT).
The central bank has been standing pat on monetary policy
since February, when it surprised markets by expanding asset
purchases and setting a 1 percent inflation target. Markets had
widely expected it to ease policy on Friday via an increase in
its asset buying programme.