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Bank of Japan holds fire on stimulus

Marunouchi, Tokyo's bussiness and finance district, housing some of the country's major banking headquartersThe Bank of Japan held fire on expanding its already huge stimulus programme on Wednesday, despite mounting pressure on policymakers in the face of sluggish growth and stagnant prices. The decision, after a two-day meeting, follows a string of disappointing data that have raised questions about the effectiveness of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to kickstart the economy, which contracted in the second quarter of the year. It also comes a day after the International Monetary Fund lowered its growth forecast this year and next, calling on authorities to work harder to slash a national debt that is more than twice as big as its gross domestic product (GDP).

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