Sweden's central bank expands bond-buying program

STOCKHOLM – Sweden’s central bank has left its key interest rate unchanged at a record minus 0.50 per cent but says it will expand its bond-purchase program by 45 billion kronor ($5.6 billion) in the second half of the year.

The Riksbank’s move Thursday means the bond-buying program will total 245 billion kronor by the end of 2016. It came as the European Central Bank, which oversees monetary policy for many of Sweden’s neighbours, kept interest rates and its stimulus unchanged.

It’s intended to dampen the appreciation of the Swedish krona and boost inflation.

Stimulus tends to weigh on a currency, and a rise in the Swedish krona against the euro would hurt exporters and weigh on inflation.