Asian markets are rising this morning after the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) decision to maintain its policy of monetary stimulus. However, the BoJ downgraded its forecast for Japanese exports. With the effect of a weak yen on consumer prices fading the BoJ's two per cent inflation target may become more difficult to achieve by the target date of early 2015.
Japan economist with Capital Economics, Marcel Thieliant, commented:
For now, though, the central bank still has time on its side. QQE is barely one year old, and the Policy Board will likely want to see how sharply output contracts following next month's consumption tax hike. But any weakness in Q2 will have to be seen in light of the strength in Q1. Perhaps more important is whether the economy manages to rebound in the third quarter.
The Japanese economy experienced growth of 0.7 percent in the last quarter of 2013 as net exports proved disappointing.
Investors remain concerned about the health of the Chinese economy, fearing that the 7.5 per cent growth target may become unachievable in the wake of contracting credit and falling exports.
The Nikkei is up 0.6 per cent, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index has risen 0.1 per cent so far. The Tokyo Stock Exchange Tokyo Price Index is up 0.3 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi is enjoying a rise of 0.4 per cent. However, the Shanghai stock Exchange Composite Index is down 0.3 per cent.