BOJ Keeps Massive Monetary Stimulus in Place

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Wednesday kept its massive monetary stimulus intact, as widely expected, reiterating that the world’s number three economy is recovering moderately.

By an 8-1 vote at the end of a two-day meeting, policymakers pledged to boost its monetary base by 80 trillion yen a year through purchases of government bonds and risky assets, a quantitative easing (QE) program that’s been in place since April 2013.  Dollar-yen fell on the news, trading at 119.99 from 120.14, while the Nikkei 225 index rose 0.8 percent to a 15-year high of 19,810.

In an accompanying statement, the BOJ said consumer inflation, excluding the sales tax hike that came into effect last year, currently hovers at zero percent and will remain that way for a while on the back of a collapse in oil prices.