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BOJ's Sakurai says global policy coordination kept FX moves stable

FILE PHOTO: Bank of Japan's (BOJ) board member Makoto Sakurai speaks during an interview with Reuters at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Effective and quick policy coordination among major economies have helped keep currencies stable despite the shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Bank of Japan board member Makoto Sakurai said in a research paper released on Friday.

The yen spiked against the dollar during the global financial crisis in 2008 because the extent of monetary easing by the BOJ was much smaller than the quantitative easing policy deployed by the U.S. Federal Reserve, Sakurai said.

By the time the BOJ adopted yield curve control (YCC) in 2016, fluctuations in the dollar-yen rate became smaller because the direction and scale of monetary policies in major economies have become “quite similar,” he said in an essay titled “Japan’s Monetary Policy Experience and Lessons.”

This year, major economies have implemented large-scale stimulus measures as the spread of COVID-19 has brought about a global depression, Sakurai said.

“What is noteworthy about the current response is that policy coordination between governments and central banks in major economies and close cooperation among major central banks ... have been established quickly and are functioning effectively,” Sakurai said.

“As a result, despite some temporary swings, exchange rates between the major economies have remained stable,” he added.

Sakurai said the BOJ has used “all possible tools at its disposal” to combat the pandemic, taking into account its experience battling the global financial crisis.

“It will need to continue to cooperate closely with the government and other central banks to implement flexible and bold policies in a timely and appropriate manner,” he said.

The BOJ eased policy twice this year mainly by ramping up asset buying and creating a lending facility to channel funds via financial institutions to smaller firms hit by COVID-19.

Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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