RTTNews - Friday, the Bank of Japan upwardly revised its economic view for the first time since July 2006. The central bank also decided to leave the key interest rate unchanged and expanded the range of eligible collateral to ensure financial market stability.

BoJ assessed that economic conditions have been deteriorating, but exports and production are beginning to level out. Looking forward, exports and production are expected to start recovering despite the continuing weakness in domestic private demand. The pace of deterioration in economic conditions is likely to moderate gradually, leading to a leveling out of the economy, the central bank said.

Last month, the central bank had stated that the economic conditions in Japan have deteriorated significantly.

At the end of two-day policy meeting, the Policy Board of Bank unanimously decided to maintain the uncollateralized overnight call rate at 0.1% as expected. The previous change in interest rates was a 20 basis point cut implemented in December 2008.

The central bank also expanded the range of eligible collateral to ensure financial market stability by further facilitating money market operations. The central bank decided today to accept bonds issued by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France as eligible collateral.

In other news, a revised report from the Japanese Cabinet Office showed that the leading index stood at 76.3 in March, revised down from the initial estimate of 76.6. But the reading stood above February's 74.4. Meanwhile, the coincident index was revised up to 85.1 from 84.9 in March.

Taiwan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said the jobless rate increased to a seasonally adjusted 5.77% in April from 5.72% in March. Economists expected the rate to come in at 5.84%.

Separately, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said the total non-agricultural payroll employment declined 0.34% month-on-month in March to 6.29 million. Compared to the previous year, the employment fell 4.34%.

Elsewhere, Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs said sales of trade and food services posted an annual decrease of 9.52% in April following a 12.22% contraction in March.

Vietnam's central bank said it would keep its key interest rate unchanged at 7% in June. In a statement on its Web site, the State Bank of Vietnam said it would also leave the refinancing rate at 7% and the discount rate at 5%.

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