Japan's central bank keeps ultra-loose monetary policy

Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have agreed to keep their short-term benchmark interest rate in negative territory. The decision came as they wrapped up their two-day meeting on Friday.

The policymakers also decided to continue their asset purchases to hold long-term rates around zero percent.

The BOJ's strategy is in contrast with other major central banks around the world, which have been tightening their policies to control inflation.

BOJ Governor Kuroda Haruhiko has repeatedly indicated he will stay the course in a bid to boost Japan's pandemic-battered economy.

The BOJ's decision follows one made on Thursday by the Swiss National Bank.

It defied investors' expectations by announcing its first interest rate hike in 15 years, in an attempt to stop prices from rising further.

The BOJ's decision could further accelerate the yen's slip against the dollar.