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The Bank of Japan held off on expanding monetary stimulus, as Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda and his colleagues opted to take more time to assess the impact of negative interest rates.

The move comes as a surprise to the slight majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg who had projected some action from the central bank in response to a strengthening in the yen that has cast a shadow over prospects for higher wages and investment. The currency rallied against the dollar immediately after the decision while stocks in Tokyo tumbled.

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