【以下、Nikkei Asian Review からの引用】
September 10, 2016 2:43 am JST
BOJ to weigh different approach, but markets wonder what next
The Bank of Japan's policy board will meet Sept. 20-21.
With some predicting that these side effects will force the policy board to scale back easing at the Sept. 20-21 review, the BOJ leadership is trying harder than ever to communicate its intentions to the government and the markets. Its new approach favors speeches over surprises like the adoption of negative interest rates in January, which threw markets for a loop and produced an unintended reaction -- a rising yen and falling share prices.
"A reduction in the level of monetary policy accommodation, which is being called for by some market participants, will not be considered," Kuroda said in a speech Monday, describing the agenda for the assessment.
But Deputy Gov. Hiroshi Nakaso acknowledged the possibility that the review might produce change.
"Based on a candid assessment, we will decide whether or not it will be necessary to make adjustments to the current policy framework, and if judged necessary, in what way it should be adjusted," Nakaso told a meeting hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan on Thursday.
Even so, many BOJ watchers seem unsure about whether the policy board will prescribe more or less stimulus. About 60% of private-sector forecasters expect some sort of easing to come from the September meeting, according to a Japan Center for Economic Research survey published Wednesday. An economist at a domestic brokerage complains of a "lack of transparency" in BOJ policy -- an opinion echoed by other market participants.
To an extent, this reflects the severity of the side effects of ongoing measures. There is concern that banks may grow reluctant to lend if their earnings continue to suffer. Kuroda himself, in his speech Monday, acknowledged the need to take into account the negative interest rate policy's "potential impact" on financial intermediation. Under the circumstances, pushing interest rates further below zero or buying even more Japanese government bonds is no easy matter.
So how will the BOJ move? Some watchers expect a shift from the current 80 trillion yen ($779 billion) annual target for JGB purchases to a range of 70 trillion yen to 90 trillion yen, which would allow the bank to taper buying in response to interest rates and other conditions.
Other predictions include targeting long-term interest rates and buying foreign-government debt or high-yield corporate bonds. None of these looks to be a game-winning move.
In the meantime, bereft of specifics, markets are likely to remain on edge.