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BOJ Sees Omicron as Potential Reason to Keep Covid Aid

  • BOJ members said to see no downside to keeping aid in place
  • Decision could come at end of bank’s next meeting on Dec. 17
Evening commuters in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo.

Evening commuters in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo.

Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

Uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant is making some Bank of Japan officials see increased risk in ending or scaling back a Covid funding program set to expire in March, people familiar with the matter said. 

While credit conditions for big firms have improved along with the market for corporate bonds and commercial paper, it may be risky to announce a reduction in support now, the people said. The new variant has fueled concern over the economic outlook and shaken financial markets, they said.