TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - Japanese government bond prices pared earlier losses and rose on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan tweaked its monetary policy but pledged to keep interest rates “very low”.
Following its two-day policy board meeting, the BOJ took measures to make its massive stimulus programme more flexible, reflecting its forecast that it would take time for inflation to hit its 2 percent target.
The central bank said long-term interest rates may fluctuate depending on economic and price developments and that it would conduct its bond-buying programme flexibly.
It did, however, maintain the short-term interest rate target at minus 0.1 percent and a pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around zero percent by a 7-2 vote.
September 10-year JGB futures were up 0.24 point at 150.68 after stooping to 150.24.
The benchmark 10-year JGB yield fell 3 basis points to 0.070 percent.
The 10-year yield had risen steadily over the last week, reaching a 1-1/2-year high of 0.11 percent on Monday as the market braced for the BOJ potentially considering steps to make its huge monetary stimulus more sustainable.
Financial markets have been abuzz with speculation after various media reports suggested the possibility of BOJ tweaking its policy.
Some had speculated the BOJ could consider adjusting its yield-curve control (YCC) scheme, which it maintains by buying large amounts of JGBs. Repeated purchases of JGBs have robbed the bond market of liquidity, and near-zero rates under YCC have strained bank lending. (Reporting by the Tokyo markets team Editing by Joseph Radford)