Kuroda Says No Indication of Leak From BOJ on Negative Rate

The Bank of Japan hasn’t found any indication that someone at the central bank leaked information about the policy board’s deliberations on negative interest rates, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told parliament.

Senior government officials who were at the meeting have also said they didn’t pass on confidential information, Kuroda said to lawmakers on Monday. He said the BOJ is continuing its probe into the media report -- which sparked sharp moves in financial markets just minutes before the BOJ’s Jan. 29 policy announcement -- and has not ruled out the possibility that the story was based on speculation.

Shuichi Takatori, the Cabinet Office’s representative at the meeting that day, told parliament that he had contacted colleagues who cover monetary policy to check on how the Cabinet Office should respond to proposals being made at the meeting. Other than that, he had no outside contacts before the gathering ended, he said.

The central bank’s surprise decision on negative interest was reported by the Nikkei news service minutes before it was released. The yen weakened and the Japanese stock market rose before the policy statement was released at 12:38 p.m. in Tokyo. Markets then zigzagged throughout the afternoon as investors digested the news.

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