January 23, 2018 / 6:58 AM / a month ago

BOJ Governor Kuroda comments at news conference

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s central bank kept monetary settings unchanged on Tuesday and offered a more upbeat view on inflation expectations than three months ago, signaling its conviction a strengthening recovery will gradually push price growth to its 2 percent target.

Following are comments from BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda at his post-meeting news conference:

INFLATION AND MONETARY POLICY

”Japan’s economy is expanding moderately but inflation remains weak. Other countries are facing similar situations but unlike these countries, many of whom are seeing inflation move around 1.5 percent, inflation excluding energy costs is barely above zero percent in Japan.

”There is still some distance to 2 percent inflation, so we’re in no condition yet to debate the timing of an exit from ultra-easy monetary policy.

INFLATION EXPECTATIONS

“There is absolutely no need to adjust our yield targets just because we revised up our assessment on inflation expectations.” (On the BOJ’s decision to revise up its assessment on inflation expectations)

BUYING EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS

”For Japan’s economy, it’s important for the BOJ to patiently continue with powerful monetary easing. (When asked whether the BOJ could slow its purchases of exchange-traded funds. (ETF)

”Our ETF buying is one aspect of our monetary policy framework, and has had a positive impact on the economy and prices by pushing down risk premiums. The purchases have played a big role.

”So far, we’re not seeing any signs investors are becoming excessively bullish on stock prices. There is also no big problem in terms of corporate governance. There is no need to review our ETF purchases now.

“As for the future, we will decide appropriately looking at the economy, prices and financial developments from the viewpoint of achieving 2 percent inflation at the earliest date possible.”

Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Eric Meijer

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