QE Infinity: Tokyo Style

The Bank of Japan will consider making an open-ended commitment next week to buy government bonds and other assets until 2 percent inflation is in sight and the economy is on a more solid footing, according to sources familiar with its thinking.

The central bank will also consider scrapping interest it pays on banks’ reserves, the sources added.

Faced with relentless pressure from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to do more to pull Japan out of deflation, the BOJ is expected to double its inflation target and possibly boost its long-running asset-buying scheme at a two-day policy review that ends on Tuesday.

Any steps beyond that, however, would come as a surprise for investors, possibly putting the yen under more selling pressure and further boosting Japanese stocks, which have bolted to their highest levels in nearly three years on hopes of bolder policy measures.

The BOJ and the government are in final talks on the contents of a joint policy statement they aim to issue on January 22, and both have already agreed on the 2 percent inflation goal, deputy economics minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told Reuters in an interview on Friday.


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