As expected, the Bank of Japan on Thursday left official Interest Rates unchanged and reduced its expectations for economic growth in fiscal year 2009 as exports continued to suffer from the weak global economy. The central bank also said it expects overseas economies to start recovering in the latter half of the fiscal year.

The Japanese currency fell against all of the 16 most actively traded currencies except the New Zealand dollar as a decline in foreign-exchange fluctuation encouraged investors to engage in carry trades, in which they buy higher-yielding assets after borrowing in countries with lower interest rates. The yen declined 0.6% to 130.42 per EUR, from 129.61 yesterday. The JPY also slid 1% to 98.72 against the Dollar.

Data from Japan Friday highlighted economic weakness there, with the March jobless rate coming in at 4.8% while the March core consumer price index fell 0.1% on year, the first negative reading in a year and a half and a sign the nation might have entered a long period of deflation.