BOJ keeps policy steady; newcomer signals desire for future easing

BOJ keeps policy steady; newcomer signals desire for future easing”

The Bank of Japan said Tuesday it is holding its monetary policy steady, even as its peers in the US and Europe begin to wind down stimulus.

With inflation in Japan remaining moderate, the country's central bank is in no hurry to tighten its monetary policy, analysts said before the release of BOJ's statement.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, fell 1/2 basis point to 0.065 percent, the yield on long-term 30-year also slipped 1/2 basis point to 0.867 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year traded almost 1 basis point lower at -0.158 percent by 04:05 GMT.

But new board member Goushi Kataoka dissented from the BOJ board's decision to maintain its interest rate targets, arguing that the BOJ should buy government bonds so that 15-year JGB yields would remain at less than 0.2 percent.

Japan's economy expanded at an annualised 2.5% in the second quarter as consumer and corporate spending picked up, with steady growth likely to be sustained in coming quarters.

In the fiscal 2019, the economy is expected to continue expanding, although the growth pace is projected to decelerate to 0.7 percent due to a cyclical slowdown in business fixed investment and the effects of the scheduled consumption tax hike.

In the quarterly review, the BoJ trimmed its inflation forecast for the current year ending in March 2018 to 0.8% from the 1.1% it estimated in July.

Marcel Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics, said growth is set to slow more sharply than the BoJ now anticipates and price pressures are likely to strengthen only gradually.

Kataoka's opinion is unlikely to be in the majority at least as long as BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda remains at the central bank's helm, she added.

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