Business sentiment among large Japanese manufacturing enterprises fell more than expected in the fourth quarter to register its worst reading in a little under seven years, according to the Bank of Japan's latest quarterly Tankan survey.
The sentiment index for large manufacturing enterprises fell to 0 in the three months to December from 5 in the prior three-month period. The expectation was for a reading of 2 in the fourth quarter.
This marked the lowest level since March 2013, when the index stood at negative 8.
Confidence among manufacturers of all sizes deteriorated as the relevant index dropped to negative 4 from negative 1.
Business sentiment among large nonmanufacturing companies dipped to 20 from 21.
The all-industry index, which covers large, medium-sized and small enterprises from the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors, fell to 4 from 8.