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Bank of Japan keeps rates unchanged

Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged, suggesting that it was in no rush to withdraw its massive stimulus program.

The bank's policy board, voting 8-1, kept the short-term policy interest rate at negative 0.1% and pledged to guide 10-year Japanese government bond yields at around zero percent.

Board member Goushi Kataoka, the sole dissenter, called for further strengthening of monetary easing on account of risk factors such as the consumption tax hike and a possible economic downturn in the U.S., said the BOJ.

The yen was down 0.11% against the dollar while 10-year yields were steady as of 10:47 a.m. ET after the decision was announced.

The bank said the year-over-year rate of change in the consumer price index ranged 0.5% to 1.0%. In a statement after its April meeting, the bank said consumer inflation was around 1%. The bank also removed wording on achieving its 2% inflation target around fiscal 2019.

Japan's core consumer price growth, excluding fresh food prices, slowed to an annual 0.7% in April before seasonal adjustment compared to an annual 0.9% in March.