HIGHLIGHTS-BOJ Governor Kuroda's comments at news conference

June 16 (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan kept monetary settings steady on Tuesday and stuck to its view that the economy will gradually recover from the coronavirus pandemic, signalling that it has taken enough steps to support growth for now.

Following are comments from BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda at his post-meeting news conference:

POLICY STEPS

“We won’t hesitate to take additional easing steps as needed. That means we are ready to expand our lending facilities if necessary.”

“Given uncertainty on how the pandemic could affect our economy and markets, we may need to ponder new measures. We’ll respond flexibly.”

“We won’t hesitate to take additional monetary easing steps based on our three pillars. Options include an expansion of our special programmes (to combat the pandemic), cuts in our yield targets, and an expansion of our ETF purchases.”

PRICE TARGET

“It’s true Japan’s economy has lost momentum to achieve the target now … While the economy could head for a recovery, prices may remain in negative territory for some time. But once economic growth accelerates, inflation is likely to pick up. We will stick to our 2% inflation target.”

ON RECENT MARKET MOVES:

“Stock prices move reflecting investors’ views on the economic and corporate profit outlook. Corporate profits are worsening now. But markets expect conditions to improve and that’s reflected in market moves.”

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

“Board members agreed that Japan’s economy is expected to improve in the somewhat long run as the impact from the pandemic subsides. Our view on the economic outlook hasn’t changed much since April. But there is strong uncertainty on the outlook.”

NEW CORONAVIRUS

“The biggest problem for the world now is the rapid increase in infections in emerging economies … If a second wave of inflections occurs in advanced nations, that could lead to lockdowns and other measures again, which will have a negative impact on the economies.” (Reporting by Leika Kihara, Kaori Kaneko, Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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