Central Banks

  • 2019-04-19 00:25


    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan on Friday unexpectedly reduced the scale of its purchases of longer-end Japanese government bonds.

    - The BOJ Friday lowered its purchases of JGBs with a remaining life of 10 to 25 years to Y160 billion from Y180 billion. The reduction was the first since Feb 12 when the BOJ lowered the scale to Y180 billion from Y200 billion.

    - The amount of purchase of JGBs with a remaining life of more than 25 years was lowered to Y40 billion from Y50 billion. That cut was the first since Sept 21 2018 when the BOJ lowered the scale of Y50 billion from Y60 billion.

    - The reduction weren't expected by JGB players and the operations increased upward pressure on bond yields.

  • 2019-04-18 20:45


    TOKYO (MNI) - Japanese corporate demand for financing via bank loans in April fell from three months ago as the slowing global economy decreased companies' sales and capital investment, according to the Bank of Japan's quarterly survey of senior loan officers at 50 banks released Friday.

    The index for corporate fund demand -- calculated by subtracting the number of banks reporting a decline in lending from the number of those reporting an increase -- came in at +3 in April, down from +4 in January.

  • 2019-04-18 20:30


    --Japan Core CPI Up 0.8% y/y In March Vs. +0.7% in February

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's nationwide core consumer price index rose 0.8% on year in March, accelerating from +0.7% in February. However, Bank of Japan officials maintain cautious on the outlook as they don't expect the rising trend to accelerate sharply.

    The March core CPI continued to be boosted by positive contribution from energy prices (0.39 percentage point in March vs. 0.34 percentage point in February and 0.37 percentage point in January).

    The underlying inflation rate measured by the core-core CPI (excluding fresh food and energy) rose 0.4% on year in March, unchanged from February.

  • 2019-04-18 10:45


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. economy is on track for continued growth and for inflation to remain near target after the Federal Reserve suspended its three-year tightening campaign this year, Richmond Fed research director Kartik Athreya said in an interview Wednesday.

    He added that domestic risks look benign relative to uncertainties from abroad and dismissed concerns that a brief inversion of the three-month-10-year yield curve last month portended a near-term recession, noting that negative term premia have been a drag on long-term rates.

    "Things are coming back to where one would have expected them, and it's not warranted to put a great deal of weight at this point to a recession or a significant downturn.

  • 2019-04-17 07:16


    --Repeat of story originally published at 0603GMT April 17

    TOKYO (MNI) - Despite rapid growth in real estate loans, the Bank of Japan still sees financial and economic activities as a whole showing no signs of overheating such as seen through the late 80's 'bubble', the BOJ's biannual Financial System Report released Wednesday said.

    However, the report said "possible vulnerabilities of the real estate market warrant close attention."

    The latest FSR again pointed to the accumulated risks caused by prolonged easy policy, but the comments will not prompt the BOJ board to unwind it anytime soon.

    The report also said regional financial institutions have generally not been able to secure profits commensurate with the increase in risk-weighted assets, while their capital

  • 2019-04-17 02:03


    TOKYO (MNI) - Despite rapid growth in real estate loans, the Bank of Japan still sees financial and economic activities as a whole showing no signs of overheating such as seen through the late 80's 'bubble', the BOJ's biannual Financial System Report released Wednesday said.

    However, the report said "possible vulnerabilities of the real estate market warrant close attention."

    The latest FSR again pointed to the accumulated risks caused by prolonged easy policy, but the comments will not prompt the BOJ board to unwind it anytime soon.

    The report also said regional financial institutions have generally not been able to secure profits commensurate with the increase in risk-weighted assets, while their capital adequacy ratios and stress resilience have declined moderat

  • 2019-04-17 01:32


    --Japan March Exports Fall -2.4% Y/Y After -1.2% In February

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's exports fell again in March, posting a fourth straight drop, indicating exports continue to be hit by slowing global demand, with Bank of Japan officials watchful over the outlook.

    BOJ officials are looking at how recovering domestic demand in China will boost Japan's exports of capital goods, automobiles and electronic parts and devices this month to see whether examine the exports have bottomed.

    Exports, a main driver for Japan's economy, fell 2.4% on year in March following a 1.2% decline in February, beating the MNI median forecast of a 2.7% fall, led by lower exports steels, auto parts and optical equipment.

    Exports to China fell 9.4% on year in March following a gain of 5.6% in

  • 2019-04-16 10:51


    --Repeating Story Initially Sent at 7:50 ET/11:50 GMT Tuesday

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve wants to boost its holdings of short-term Treasury bills to give itself flexibility to stimulate growth in another downturn, but officials are wary of moving too quickly for fear of distorting markets, Philadelphia Fed economist Roc Armenter told MNI.

    Owning more bills would allow the Fed to quickly reinvest maturing proceeds into longer-term debt to stimulate markets, a la 2011's Operation Twist, in which the Fed sold $400 billion of short-dated bonds and bought longer-term Treasuries to lower long-term rates and encourage people to invest in riskier assets.

    It would also permit the option, if necessary, of more quickly shrinking the Fed's balance sheet -- b

  • 2019-04-11 11:32


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. growth and inflation indicators would need to deteriorate relative to the Fed's forecasts for officials to consider an interest rate cut, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President Jim Bullard said Thursday, adding that he's uncertain about the economy's performance so far this year.

    His remarks come on the heels of Wednesday's publication of the minutes of the FOMC's March meeting, in which a majority of officials said the current level of rates appear to be appropriate for the rest of the year.

    "The (Summary of Economic Projections) is essentially saying if the economy evolves as expected, we would not make any changes in 2019," Bullard told reporters after giving a speech in Tupelo, Miss.

  • 2019-04-10 11:50


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Federal Reserve Governor Randy Quarles on Wednesday urged financial institutes to accelerate their transition toward alternative risk-free rates including the Secured Overnight Funding Rate and away from LIBOR, warning LIBOR use could end in two and a half years.

    Speaking on the one-year anniversary of the New York Fed's publication of SOFR and other new risk-free rates, Quarles noted substantial progress in the adaptation of the new rates.

    SOFR futures saw more than $7 trillion in cumulative notional volumes since they were created, a crucial development for market liquidity that's spurring the growth of SOFR swaps and other derivative markets, he said. Over the past year, $81 billion in SOFR-linked debt were also issued.