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Oct 31, 2014 1:22 AM

Japan central bank expands asset purchases

The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) Japan's central bank decided Friday to expand its asset purchases in a surprise move to shore up sagging growth in the world's No. 3 economy.

The Bank of Japan said it would increase its asset purchases by between 10 trillion yen and 20 trillion yen ($90.7 billion to $181.3 billion) to about 80 trillion yen ($725 billion) annually, citing an easing in inflation.

The Nikkei 225 stock index jumped more than 4 percent and the dollar rose against the yen.

Japan's economic recovery remained in the doldrums in September, as household spending fell, inflation edged lower and unemployment ticked up, according to data released Friday, as the BOJ held a policy meeting.

As the U.S. winds down its own "quantitative easing," Japan's central bank was under pressure to increase stimulus to support growth as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe weighs approval of a sales tax hike next year.

In addition to stepping up asset purchases, the central bank said it would triple its purchases of exchange-traded funds and real estate investment trusts.


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