Bank of Japan Offers to Buy More Bonds for First Time Since July

The Bank of Japan increased the amount of bonds it offered to buy at a regular operation for the first time since July, helping to bring down yields and weaken the yen.

The BOJ sought to buy 330 billion yen ($3 billion) of 3-to-5 year debt, more than the 300 billion yen at the last operation, it said a statement.

The Japanese central bank is acting amid a global bond rout that is challenging its yield-curve control policy. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told lawmakers Wednesday that the central bank will continue easing to reach its 2 percent inflation target.

“The Bank of Japan showed a clear intention to rein in a rise in domestic government bond yields,” Naoya Oshikubo, a rates strategist at Barclays Securities Japan Ltd., said in Tokyo. There may be similar operations in the future if yields continue to advance, he said.

The yen weakened 0.1 percent to trade at 108.91. The yield for the five-year bond fell 1 basis point to minus 0.08 percent, while it fell half a basis point to 0.085 percent for the benchmark 10-year.

A cut in the BOJ’s purchases of longer-maturity bonds at its regular operation on Jan. 9 sparked speculation it may be looking to roll back its stimulus.

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