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Apr 27, 11:35 PM EDT

Japan's central bank leaves monetary policy mostly unchanged


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Japan's central bank leaves monetary policy mostly unchanged

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Japan's central bank leaves monetary policy mostly unchanged

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank left its unprecedented monetary stimulus mostly unchanged in a policy meeting Thursday, defying speculation it would open the taps further to boost growth.

The Bank of Japan did offer up to 300 billion yen ($2.75 billion) in support for disaster recovery financing on the southern island of Kyushu, where two earthquakes struck earlier this month.

Many investors and economists had speculated that the central bank would step up its asset purchases, push the negative interest rate on bank deposits at the BOJ even lower or otherwise act to expand its already lavish stimulus policies.

Gloomy economic data released earlier Thursday had reinforced that expectation.

After the BOJ announcement, the Japanese yen surged to 109.36 yen to the U.S. dollar after trading earlier in the day above 111.87 yen. More stimulus would have pushed the yen lower against other currencies, by injecting additional cash into the economy.

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