The Bank of Japan has taken an additional monetary easing measure, including expanding its asset-purchase fund by ¥11 trillion to a total of ¥91 trillion and keeping its key short-term interest rate at around zero to 0.1 percent. It will loan funds at an annual interest rate of 0.1 percent to financial institutions without limits.

The asset-purchase fund expansion follows a similar decision in September to increase the fund by ¥10 trillion to a total of ¥80 trillion. For the first time since April-May 2003, the BOJ has taken monetary easing steps for two consecutive months. Behind this is the central bank’s judgment that the Japanese economic recovery is on the brink of losing steam.

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