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The Bank of Japan said Wednesday its purchases of shares from commercial banks stood at 1.84 trillion yen as of Oct. 10, unchanged from Sept. 30.

It is the first time the central bank has not bought any shares from commercial banks in a 10-day period since it began the stock-buying program last November in an attempt to protect banks’ balance sheets from falling stock prices. The BOJ announces the outstanding balance of purchases every 10 days.

The BOJ initially set a 2 trillion yen ceiling on the stock purchases, but it raised the limit to 3 trillion yen on March 25. It buys shares from banks whose shareholdings exceed their core capital.

It made the largest purchase of shares in the 10 days through March 31 when it spent 128.13 billion yen.

The stock-buying program was initially set to expire at the end of September, but the BOJ Policy Board decided Sept. 16 to extend the program for one year until the end of September 2004.

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