The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged Friday but said it will consider fine-tuning measures supposedly aimed at coaxing interest rates down.
After a two-day policy meeting ended the same day, the BOJ said it would continue to print more money and buy up bank assets to help keep the balance of banks’ deposits at the BOJ at between 27 trillion yen and 30 trillion yen.
It also said it would consider extending the length of time the central bank will hold on to purchased government bonds before reselling them to 12 months from 6 months.
The move, if implemented, would make the BOJ an even more stable buyer of government bonds, including short-term bills.
“The actual impact on the market will be limited,” said Yasunari Ueno, chief market economist of Mizuho Securities Co. “It’s more an announcement that the BOJ is watching rises in long-term interest rates.”
BOJ officials flatly denied the move was to help hold down long-term interest rates, which recently soared to a high of 1.6 percent, as investors were drawn away from safety to a rising Nikkei bourse.
The central bank said a decision may be made at the next policy meeting to be held Oct. 9 and Oct. 10.