News Summary: BOJ holds interest rates unchanged

NO CHANGES: Japan's central bank held the line on its key interest rate and its asset purchasing program at a policy meeting Friday, resisting government pressure for further easing.

SOME DRAMA: In a rare move, the government's national policy minister, Seiji Maehara, told reporters he attended the central bank's meeting to appeal for more dramatic action to spur growth. He and other government officials have voiced frustration over the failure of policies to end Japan's protracted bout of deflation which are a drag on economic growth.

THE OUTLOOK: The Bank of Japan said that it expected the world's third-largest economy to "level off" with inflation at about zero percent. It said it would continue asset purchases and stick with its decision announced last month to increase and extend its purchases of Japanese government bonds and treasury bills under its stimulus program.