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BOJ survey highlights sharp bond market strains from ultra-easy policy

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 01 Dec 2023, 10:47 PM
Tan KW
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TOKYO The Bank of Japan (BOJ)'s massive asset-buying scheme introduced in 2013 led to a sharp deterioration in bond market function, which continued to worsen after the adoption of yield curve control, a central bank survey of market participants showed on Friday.

The findings highlight the strains that the central bank's prolonged super-loose monetary policy has inflicted on market liquidity in the world's third-largest economy, and could affect its decision on when to start reversing ultra-low interest rates.

The survey was conducted as part of a comprehensive review that the BOJ is conducting on the impact its 25-year unconventional monetary easing steps on the economy and financial markets.

A diffusion index measuring how market participants viewed bond market functioning worsened sharply to five, after the BOJ's adoption of quantitative and qualitative easing (QQE) in April 2013, from 62 before its introduction, the survey showed.

The index worsened further to -48, after the introduction of negative interest rates in January 2016, and to -71 after the adoption of yield curve control (YCC), the survey showed.

Former governor Haruhiko Kuroda deployed QQE in April 2013, aiming to shock the public out of a deflationary mindset with heavy money printing, and fire up inflation to the bank's 2% target.

After the huge bond-buying began drying up market liquidity, the BOJ pushed short-term interest rates to negative territory in January 2016. It then adopted the YCC in September 2016, under which it caps the 10-year bond yield around zero.

With inflation exceeding 2% for more than a year, many market players expect incumbent governor Kazuo Ueda to dismantle his predecessor's massive stimulus programme next year.


  - Reuters


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