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UPDATE 1-Kuroda says BOJ could ease policy more, still has tools available

Fri, 18th Oct 2019 20:15

* Some in G20 said monetary space diminishing - Kuroda

* Shrugs off view BOJ running out of policy ammunition

* BOJ will scrutinise economy in deciding if to act
(Adds quotes, detail)

By Leika Kihara and David Lawder

WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor
Haruhiko Kuroda said on Friday the central bank could ease
monetary policy further if needed, as it still had tools
available to prop up economic growth.

Coming out from a two-day meeting of G20 finance ministers
and central bank heads that ended on Friday, Kuroda said some
countries did mention that prolonged periods of loose monetary
policy have left them with less room to ramp up stimulus.

But the case for Japan was different, he said, stressing the
BOJ's readiness to top up monetary support if heightening global
risks threaten achievement of its 2% inflation target.

"It's not as if we have limited monetary policy space. If
needed, we could take additional easing steps," Kuroda told a
news conference hosted by Japan as chair of this year's G20
meeting.

"We will carefully analyze economic and price developments
in deciding whether such measures are necessary," he said.

The comments came after the International Monetary Fund
slashed its global economic forecasts on Tuesday and warned
policymakers against relying too heavily on already-stretched
monetary policy tools in spurring growth.

"There were some views expressed at the G20 meeting that in
general, prolonged periods of monetary easing have diminished
space for additional easing," Kuroda said.

"But it's hard to generalise that monetary policy space has
diminished, because much depends on the economic and price
developments of each country," he said.

Kuroda also said there were no signs yet that the BOJ's
ultra-loose monetary policy was impairing Japan's banking system
by discouraging financial institutions to boost lending.

The BOJ said last month it will more thoroughly assess
economic and price developments at the Oct. 30-31 rate review
due to heightening global risks, signaling the chance of easing
policy as early as this month.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara and David Lawder;
Editing by Paul Simao and Andrea Ricci)

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