Steady on: Bank of Japan holds interest rates at negative 0.1 per cent but introduces other stimulus measures

 
Hayley Kirton
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Japan first slashed interest rates into negative territory in January (Source: Getty)

The Bank of Japan today opted to hold interest rates, although it did turn to other stimulus measures.

The Japanese central bank voted 7-2 to stick with its minus 0.1 per cent benchmark rate. Japan first cut its rate below the zero mark in January, in a move which pleasantly surprised many of the global markets.

However, the Bank of Japan also announced it would be increasing purchases of exchange-traded funds to a pace which would up the amount outstanding by ¥6 trillion (£44bn) a year, up from ¥3.3 trillion a year, and doubling its US-dollar lending programme to $24bn.

The Japanese central bank also proved that, even though it's geographically far away, it's not immune from the volatility caused by the Brexit vote fallout.

"Against the backdrop of the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union and the slowdown in emerging economies, uncertainties surrounding overseas economies have increased and volatile developments have continued in the global financial market," the statement from the Bank of Japan read.

It added that the decisions made at the Monetary Policy Meeting were "in order to prevent these uncertainties from leading to a deterioration in business confidence and consumer sentiment as well as to ensure smooth funding in foreign currencies by Japanese firms and financial institutions."

Commenting on the decision, Paul Tasi, director of research, Japan, Fidelity International, said: "By leaving the negative interest rate policy unchanged and with no changes to the monetary base, there will be no yield curve pressure and no further pressure on banks. Banks will also benefit from the increased dollar lending facility."

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