The Bank of Japan on Friday unexpectedly further eased its monetary grip to boost the country' s economy, sparking a rally in Japanese stocks and the dollar-yen.
The central bank will expand its massive asset purchase program, reported the Kyodo News Agency, adding that the bank will buy Japanese government bonds from financial institutions so that their amount outstanding will increase at an annual pace of about 80 trillion yen (731.28 billion dollars), up about 30 trillion yen (274.23 billion dollars).
The central bank will also triple its purchases of exchange- traded funds and real-estate investment trusts and buy longer- dated debt.
The BOJ maintained its basic assessment of the economy, saying it"has continued to recover moderately as a trend." "But weak domestic demand after the sales tax hike and sharp falls in oil prices are weighing on prices,"it cautioned.
The decision by the central bank's nine policy board members was split with five members in favor and four members opposed. It was the first split vote on policy since Haruhiko Kuroda took helm of the central bank in March last year.
The news sent the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average to a seven- year intraday high in the afternoon session and the dollar also climbed above the 110 yen mark--hitting levels it hasn't seen in over six years.