- As expected, the Bank of Japan has left its key interest rate at 0.1% and maintained its program of expanding the monetary base by ¥60-70T ($580-680B) a year.
- Meanwhile, Japan's trade deficit narrowed to ¥844.62B in April from ¥1.63T in March.
- Export growth strengthened to 5.1% from 1.8% and topped consensus of 4.8%.
- Imports slowed to +3.4% from +18.1% and exceeded forecasts of +0.8%. The high increase in March was due to a last-minute shopping spree before the sales tax increased on April 1.
- Exports have disappointed over the past year or so despite the weak yen, prompting fears for Japan's economic recovery and sparking increased speculation that the BOJ might add to its massive asset-buying policy.
- "We have to wait for exports to recover strongly before we will see a real drop in the trade deficit and that situation is still way out of sight," says economist Yoshiki Shinke.
- The USD-JPY is -0.15% at ¥101.18, while the Nikkei is -0.2%.
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BOJ keeps monetary policy as is; Japan trade deficit narrows
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