BoJ pumps 8 trillion yen into money market

TOKYO, March 15, 2011 (AFP) - The Bank of Japan on Tuesday pumped eight trillion yen into the financial system to soothe money markets shaken by Japan's biggest ever earthquake, a devastating tsunami and a nuclear emergency.

The move came after the central bank said Monday it would inject a record 15 trillion yen ($184 billion) to help stabilise the short term-money market, making good on an earlier pledge that it would unleash "massive" funds following the disasters.

The BoJ also said it will double a five trillion yen asset purchase scheme to help buffer the economy from the shock of the catastrophes, and left its key rate at between zero and 0.1 percent.

A businessman is reflected on a share prices board as he watches the sharply dropped figure of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on March 15, 2011. AFP

The central bank's priority is to ensure that financial institutions in disaster-hit regions do not run out of funds. Over the weekend it provided them with 55 billion yen to ease the pressure before Monday's fresh fund move.

Japanese shares at one point fell 14 percent Tuesday after a fourth blast in four days at a stricken nuclear plant, as the atomic crisis escalated following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake -- Japan's biggest -- and the devastating tsunami it unleashed.

The BoJ added three trillion yen to the five trillion it announced earlier in the day.

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