Bank of Japan leaves policy unchanged; yen climbs
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- The Japanese yen rebounded midday Wednesday after the Bank of Japan decided not to add any additional easing measures at its policy meeting. The central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged in the current range of 0 to 0.1% by a unanimous vote, and also didn't announce a further expansion to its asset purchase program, noting that the year-on-year change in consumer prices was likely to remain around 0% "for the time being." Both decisions were in line with expectations. The BOJ said Japan's economy was shifting to a phase of faster growth as public investment increased and private consumption improved. It said a high degree of uncertainty loomed over the global ecnomy amid the European debt problems and that careful attention should be paid to changes in commodity prices and medium- to long-term inflation expectations. The BOJ decision came just hours after Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda reiterated, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report, his call for the central bank to steer monetary policy in a "decisive way." The U.S. dollar was changing hands for 79.63 yen from about 79.82 yen just before the decision.