September 19, 2019 / 3:02 AM / a month ago

BOJ keeps policy steady, signals chance of easing in October

TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday but said it would re-examine economic and price developments more thoroughly at its next policy meeting in October.

“The BOJ judges that it is becoming necessary to pay closer attention to the possibility that the momentum towards achieving its price target will be lost,” the central bank said in a statement.

“Taking this situation into account, the BOJ will re-examine economic and price developments at its next policy meeting, when it updates the outlook for economic activity and prices,” it said.

As expected, the BOJ maintained its short-term interest rate target at -0.1% and a pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around 0%.

The BOJ also kept intact its forward guidance - or a pledge central banks make on future monetary policy - that commits to keeping current ultra-low interest rates “for an extended period of time, at least through around spring 2020.”

The decision on maintaining its interest rate targets was made by a 7-2 vote, with board members Goushi Kataoka and Yutaka Harada dissenting.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) to explain the decision. (Reporting by Leika Kihara, Daniel Leussink, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Kaori Kaneko Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)

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