The Bank of Japan cut its key interest rate to 0.1 percent from 0.3 percent Friday in the face of pressure to take a bold step to check the yen’s rise and provide more liquidity to cash-strapped firms amid the deepening recession.

Speculation had been rife that the BOJ would cut the rate, the second cut in seven weeks, since the U.S. Federal Reserve Board adopted a near-zero interest rate policy this week to stem further financial turmoil.

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