QE2 strong option says BOJ chief

THE Bank of Japan (B0J) said yesterday boosting its five trillion yen (£38bn) asset buying plan was a “strong option” if the economy deteriorated.

The BOJ’s governor Masaaki Shirakawa made the admission as he said he was bringing forward its next policy review to 4-5 November right after the US Federal Reserve meets, which markets took as a sign it was ready to act swiftly if the outcome of the Fed’s 2-3 November meeting triggered heavy dollar selling.

Shirakawa said the change of the date from mid-November had nothing to do with the Fed and was aimed at speeding up the roll-out of the bank’s asset buying plan, particularly purchases of less conventional instruments. “If there is a big change in our economic and price outlook, expanding it is a strong option,” Shirakawa said.