Bank of Japan prints 1.5 trillion yen to grease markets

TOKYO, September 16, 2008 (AFP) – The Bank of Japan on Tuesday injected 1.5 trillion yen (14.4 billion dollars) into money markets in a bid to contain market turmoil after the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The central bank said on its website that it injected the sum onto the open markets at the start of the business day Tuesday.

Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa earlier vowed to provide ample funds to financial markets after markets plunged across the world.

“The Bank of Japan will carefully monitor recent situations surrounding the US financial institutions and their influences, and will continue to strive to ensure smooth settlement of funds and maintain stability in financial markets through measures such as appropriate money market operations,” he said.

Japanese share prices plunged some 4.5 percent in early trade on Tuesday. The market was closed on Monday for a public holiday.

The financial turmoil came just before the Bank of Japan’s policy board was due to begin meeting.

The bank is widely expected to keep its key interest rate at 0.5 percent, which is the lowest among major economies, due to concerns that the world’s second-largest economy will fall into reces