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UPDATE 2-BOJ Kuroda says ready to use more policy options to boost inflation
February 3, 2016 / 3:26 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-BOJ Kuroda says ready to use more policy options to boost inflation

* BOJ can cut rates beyond minus 0.1 pct if needed-Kuroda

* Adds can devise new tools if existing ones don’t work

* Kuroda says no limits to monetary policy means

* China has room to top up stimulus, can achieve stable growth (Adds quotes, details)

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank has ample room to expand stimulus further and is prepared to cut interest rates deeper into negative territory, signalling a readiness to act again to hit his ambitious inflation target.

Even after deploying what he described as “the most powerful monetary policy framework in the history of modern central banking,” Kuroda said he remained open to devising new means to revive the economy if existing tools did not work.

“If we judge that existing measures in the toolkit are not enough to achieve (our) goal, what we have to do is to devise new tools,” Kuroda said in a speech at a seminar on Wednesday.

“I am convinced that there is no limit to measures for monetary easing,” he said.

The BOJ chief said although Japan’s economy was recovering moderately, it was taking longer than expected to achieve his 2 percent inflation target due to slumping energy costs.

While offering few clues on the trigger for further monetary easing, Kuroda said the recent global markets rout and slowing emerging economies could hurt Japanese business sentiment and discourage firms from boosting wages.

“What’s important is how (such external risks) could affect confidence,” he said.

Kuroda remained sanguine on China’s outlook, saying the world’s second-largest economy was likely to sustain stable growth as policymakers have plenty of room to deploy additional fiscal and monetary stimulus measures.

The BOJ unexpectedly cut a benchmark interest rate below zero on Friday, stunning investors with another bold move to stimulate the economy as volatile markets and slowing global growth threaten its efforts to overcome deflation.

The central bank will charge a 0.1 percent interest on some of the excess reserves financial institutions park with the BOJ, while maintaining its existing asset-buying programme - dubbed “quantitative and qualitative easing” (QQE).

Kuroda countered criticism that the BOJ was running out of ammunition to accelerate inflation - which has ground to a halt due to slumping oil costs - to 2 percent, saying negative rates won’t hamper the bank’s efforts to gobble up government bonds.

“If judged necessary, it is possible to further cut the interest rate from the current level of minus 0.1 percent,” he said. (Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chris Gallagher & Shri Navaratnam)

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