Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Friday that the central bank will maintain its dovish guidance on the future path of interest rates for the time being, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on the fragile economy.

Under the current forward guidance, the BOJ says it "won't hesitate to take additional easing steps," and expects short- and long-term policy interest rates to "remain at their present or lower levels."

As central banks across the globe eye interest rate hikes, markets have been rife with speculation that the BOJ may also change its guidance to one with a more hawkish tilt such as by removing the reference on its readiness to ease further.