TOKYO Oct 5 The Bank of Japan kept monetary
settings unchanged on Friday after having loosened policy only
last month, but it cut its assessment of the economy due to
weakening exports and production.
As widely expected, the central bank maintained its key
policy rate in a range of zero to 0.1 percent by a unanimous
vote, and held off on easing monetary policy further.
"Japan's economic activity is more or less levelling off,"
the BOJ said in a statement announcing its policy decision.
BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa will hold an embargoed news
conference later on Friday, with his comments expected to come
out some time after 4:15 p.m. (0715 GMT).
The BOJ has expanded monetary stimulus three times so far
this year through an increase in asset purchases including in
September, as prospects of a near-term recovery in the world's
third-largest economy have faded due to weakening exports and a
prolonged slowdown in China.