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Bank of Japan holds off fresh stimulus despite weaker economy

Sanrio's Hello Kitty pays a visit to the company's character goods shop in Tokyo in 2009. Japan's sales tax rise hit growthThe Bank of Japan on Thursday stuck by its view that the world’s number three economy was recovering, despite a contraction in the second quarter that underlined the damage inflicted by an April sales tax hike. Investors will now turn their focus to a regular post-meeting briefing by governor Haruhiko Kuroda at 0630 GMT to see if he hints at future moves to counter the downturn. The April-June quarter saw Japan’s economy suffer its deepest quarterly contraction since the 2011 quake and tsunami owing to April’s sales tax hike. The 1.7 percent dip in gross domestic product — or a 6.8 percent contraction at an annualised rate — gave the clearest picture yet of the impact of the tax hike and has thrown into question plans for another rise next year.

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