The Bank of Japan expanded its asset-purchase program for the second time in two months, a move that failed to cheer investors as stocks slumped amid mounting evidence that the economy contracted last quarter.The fund will increase by 11 trillion yen ($138 billion) to 66 trillion yen while a separate credit loan program will stay at 25 trillion yen, the bank said in Tokyo, acting hours after data showed the biggest decline in industrial output since last year’s earthquake. The BOJ will also offer unlimited loans to banks to boost credit demand
Economy Minister Seiji Maehara attended his second BOJ meeting yesterday, highlighting political pressure for action from the central bank. The joint statement he issued with Shirakawa and Finance Minister Koriki Jojima after the meeting was the first of its type, Maehara said. It said that the government “strongly expects” powerful easing until deflation is overcome.