BOJ to Keep Rates Low, Any Change to Policy Will Be Gradual - Ex-Board Member

The Bank of Japan won't make any quick or drastic changes to its monetary policy framework and is likely to keep interest rates low, even as this week's board reshuffle brought in less dovish members, former BOJ policy board member Sayuri Shirai said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. "Japan's neutral rate is very low... Together with inflation expectation, Japan's nominal interest rate will be low," Shirai told the Reuters Global Markets Forum (GMF). Shirai expected any change in policy from the BOJ to be gradual and carefully orchestrated, which in the near-term could include widening the band of its yield curve control (YCC), so as not to fuel speculative activity in the markets. "Most likely scenario is expanding 10-year yield target range. Of course, new (BOJ) governor may do more flexibility," she said, adding however, that she did not expect any "big major change". As part of its efforts to fire up inflation to its 2% target, the BOJ guides short-term rates towards -0.1% and caps the 10-year bond yield around 0% under its YCC policy. Read more.