The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady today despite sluggish global growth and anaemic inflation.

This is putting policymakers under pressure to do more to reflate the economy out of stagnation, bolstering the yen and battering Tokyo stocks. 

While Japan's central bank maintained its optimistic view of the economy, it cut its view on consumer inflation to say prices were likely to fall slightly year-on-year or hover around flat for the time being.
              
The Bank of Japan maintained its massive asset buying programme at the two-day rate review that ended earlier this morning, pledging to increase base money at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($753 billion). 

It also left unchanged a 0.1% negative interest rate applied to some of the excess reserves financial institutions park with the central bank. 

The decision to maintain the base money target was made by a 8-1 vote, while maintaining the 0.1% negative rate was agreed in a 7-2 vote. 

A possible vote by Britain to leave the European Union was the biggest near-term concern for Bank of Japan officials, and all the more reason to hold fire until after the June 23 referendum. 

A Reuters poll showed economists have seen a much higher chance of the bank easing at its meeting on July 28-29, when it issues fresh quarterly growth and inflation forecasts, assuming that global markets remain stable.
              
Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged last night and signalled it still planned to raise rates twice in 2016, although it said slower economic growth would crimp the pace of monetary policy tightening in future years.

While Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda argues he has plenty of ammunition to ease further, some bank officials have openly voiced doubts on what more the central bank can deliver and whether it would be any more successful than earlier stimulus efforts.