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Jul 29, 12:13 AM EDT

Japan central bank opts for modest stimulus expansion


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TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank has opted for a modest expansion of its lavish monetary stimulus to help perk up sluggish growth and combat deflation.

The Bank of Japan ended a policy meeting on Friday by announcing it will expand purchases of assets from financial institutions to help inject more cash into the economy and pursue its 2 percent inflation target.

The central bank said it would almost double its annual purchases of exchange traded funds, to 6 trillion yen ($57 billion) from the current 3.3 trillion yen.

The BOJ already is injecting about 80 trillion yen ($760 billion) a year into the economy through asset purchases, mainly of Japanese government bonds.

The central bank did not change its benchmark interest rate, which is now at a record low minus 0.1 percent.

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