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Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Japan: Conflicting Signals?

Along with the renewed pressure from the Bank of Japan against the rise of the yen, here is one more small piece of evidence that all may not be as well as the markets imagine:

Machinery orders placed by Japanese companies fell by a bigger-than-expected margin in August, according to official figures released on Wednesday, indicating an uncertain outlook for capital expenditure which has fuelled Japan’s nascent economic recovery. Orders for machinery made by private Japanese corporations, seen as an indicator of capital expenditure about six months ahead, fell 4.3 per cent in August from July, the Cabinet Office said. On a year-on-year basis, they rose 12.2 per cent, a smaller increase than expected. The weak data, together with the strong yen that on Wednesday traded at Y109.5 against the dollar, accelerated the decline in the Tokyo stock market, which fell for the first time in five days. The Nikkei 225 ended 2.6 per cent lower at 10,542.20.
Source: Financial Times

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