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Bank of Japan holds key interest rate steady

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Forex Pros - The Bank of Japan kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged, it announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, the BoJ said it was keeping its benchmark interest rate unchanged between a range of 0.0% to 0.1%, broadly in line with expectations.

The bank said that it was expanding its special lending facility, introduced last summer, for industries seen as promoting economic growth.

A statement on monetary policy released after the announcement showed that the Bank of Japan's nine-man policy board voted unanimously to maintain the interest rate at its current level.

The statement said that Japan's economy "continues to face downward pressure, mainly on the production side" and that "there is a high decree of uncertainty about the effects of the earthquake disaster," but added that "household and business sentiment is improving somewhat."

Following the decision, the yen was down against the U.S. dollar, with USD/JPY edging 0.07% higher to trade at 80.30.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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