RPT-Japan corporate sentiment improves - BOJ tankan

Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:21pm EDT

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TOKYO, April 1 (Reuters) - Big Japanese manufacturers'
sentiment improved for the first time in three quarters in
January-March, a closely watched Bank of Japan survey showed,
suggesting a weaker yen and higher share prices are supporting
business confidence.
    The headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment was
minus 8 in March, compared with minus 12 in December and with
the median market forecast for minus 7, the quarterly tankan
survey showed on Monday.
    Big manufacturers expect conditions to improve over the next
three months, with the index for June seen at minus 1, matching
a median forecast of economists.
    The survey also showed big firms plan to cut their capital
spending by 2.0 percent in the financial year that started on
April 1, compared with a median forecast for a 2.3 percent
increase.
    The sentiment indexes are derived by subtracting the
percentage of respondents who say conditions are poor from those
who say they are good. A negative reading means pessimists
outnumbered optimists.
    To view the BOJ's table on the survey, click on
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