BOJ keeps policy steady, pushes back timing to hit price target

Economic Indicators Reuters

(Reuters)

The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and pushed back again the timing for achieving its 2 percent inflation target on Thursday, reinforcing expectations it will lag well behind major global central banks in dialing back its massive stimulus program.

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In a widely expected move, the BOJ maintained the 0.1 percent interest it charges on a portion of excess reserves that financial institutions park at the central bank.

At the two-day policy meeting that ended on Thursday, it also kept its yield target for 10-year Japanese government bonds around zero percent.

In a quarterly review of its long-term projections, the central bank cut its inflation forecast for the current fiscal year ending in March 2018 to 1.1 percent from 1.4 percent projected three months ago.

The BOJ delayed the timing for achieving its 2 percent inflation target, saying it would be met sometime during fiscal 2019. In April, it had projected inflation would hit 2 percent in fiscal 2018.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) to explain the policy decision.

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(Reporting by Leika Kihara, Stanley White, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Minami Funakoshi; Editing by Chris Gallagher)