Bank of Japan keeps policy on hold, maintains upbeat view on outlook

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept monetary policy steady on Tuesday and maintained its view the economy is likely to continue recovering moderately, signalling its confidence the country is making steady progress toward meeting the bank's price target.

As expected, the central bank voted unanimously to maintain its pledge of increasing base money, its key policy gauge, at an annual pace of 60 trillion to 70 trillion yen (S$733-855 billion).

The BOJ said business sentiment continues to improve but some companies are cautious about the outlook, suggesting that it took note of last week's tankan survey which showed a sharp worsening in expectations for sentiment in three months' time.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference from 3:30 p.m. Tokyo time. His comments will be available as he speaks, under new rules that eliminated an embargo previously in place until the briefing was over.

The BOJ has stood pat since launching an intense burst of stimulus last April, when it pledged to accelerate inflation to 2 per cent in roughly two years via aggressive asset purchases in a country mired in deflation for 15 years.

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