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BOJ "taking serious look" at easing further: Nikkei

The Bank of Japan's shock announcement that it would charge banks to hold their cash sent Asian markets surging and the yen tumbling on Friday as investors ended a highly volatile month with a bang.

[SYDNEY] The Bank of Japan is "taking a serious look" at expanding its monetary easing measures as sliding oil prices make it ever harder to reach its 2 per cent inflation target, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Friday.

A higher yen and falling stock prices would also loom large at the central bank's next two-day policy meeting on Jan 28 and 29, the report said.

The Nikkei quoted one senior BOJ official as saying that sliding oil prices could depress inflation expectations among consumers. "Then we should consider additional easing," the official was quoted as saying.