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BOJ keeps policy steady, maintains upbeat price forecasts

Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Tuesday and roughly maintained its upbeat price forecasts, signaling a steady economic recovery will help accelerate inflation towards its 2 percent target without additional stimulus.

In a widely expected move, the BOJ maintained the 0.1 percent interest it charges on a portion of the excess reserves that financial institutions park with the central bank.

At the two-day policy meeting that ended on Tuesday, it also kept its yield target for 10-year Japanese government bonds around zero percent.

In an attempt to channel money out to broader sectors of the economy, the central bank extended by a year the deadline for its loan programs aimed at boosting lending to industries with growth potential.

In a quarterly review of its forecasts, the BOJ maintained its projection for core consumer inflation at 1.5 percent for the next fiscal year, which starts in April. It also left unchanged its projection of 1.7 percent inflation for fiscal 2018.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) to explain the policy decision and the quarterly review.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara, Stanley White, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Minami Funakoshi; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Chris Gallagher)

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