TOKYO, March 16 (UPI) -- Japan's central bank stepped-in again Wednesday with an unprecedented emergency funding effort as the country convulsed in the quake-tsunami aftermath.
The Bank of Japan offered an additional 13.8 trillion yen (about $170 billion) to short-term money markets, with an immediate injection of 5 trillion yen, Kyodo News reported.
The bank's effort, the third of its kind in as many days, is intended among other things to help restore confidence in Japan's economy, ensure sufficient liquidity and provide funds to financial institutions to make loans as the country seeks to recover from multiple calamities -- starting with Friday's 9-magnitude earthquake in the northeast and continuing aftershocks, a tsunami of unimaginable ferocity, and a massive radiation contamination threat from crippled nuclear reactors.
Wednesday's action brought the three-day total emergency funding offer, which includes various other provisions, to nearly $690 billion.
The stock markets traded higher at opening Wednesday, with the Nikkei-225 stock index showing strength after plunging about 16 percent in the past two days.