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Business sentiment among large Japanese firms stable in Q4

Business sentiment among large Japanese enterprises was stable quarter over quarter in the last three months of 2018, according to the Bank of Japan's quarterly tankan survey.

The sentiment index for businesses with a capital of ¥1 billion or more stood at 21 in the December survey, unchanged from September. The index tracking business conditions in the manufacturing sector was also stable at 19 in the latest quarterly survey, while the index for nonmanufacturing companies rose to 24 from 22 in the previous quarter.

Large companies said they intend to increase fixed investment including land purchasing expenses by 14.3% in the current fiscal year ending in March 2019 from the previous year. Employment conditions remained subdued for large enterprises, with the associated index steady at negative 23 in the December quarter, as compared with the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, the business sentiment tracker for medium-sized enterprises was steady at 17, while that for small firms was also stable quarter over quarter at 12. The all-enterprise index rose to 16 from 15.

As of Dec. 13, US$1 was equivalent to ¥113.67.