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Bank of Japan keeps interest rate unchanged

The Bank of Japan, the nation's central bank, kept benchmark overnight borrowing rate unchanged at 0.25 percent, concluding that the economy was too weak to bear a rate hike.

While it said the economy was "expanding moderately," the bank's report pointed out that both economic growth and consumer prices have fallen below its last forecast, in October, mainly because of weaker-than-expected consumption.

The BOJ increased its call rate last year for the first time in six years, after it ended its ultra-easy policy of flooding the market with excess funds. The increase took rates up from virtually zero.

The US dollar rose to a 13-month high against the yen on 18th January 2007, after news of unchanged rates hit the market.

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