Japanese business sentiment showed some relative weakness among the top manufacturers, though other segments indicated some improvement, according to the Bank of Japan's closely watched quarterly "tankan" survey. The sentiment index for the large manufacturers edged down to plus 12, with a Wall Street Journal survey of economists having expected the result to remain at the plus 13 level recorded in September. Among other manufacturers, the "medium-sized" category sentiment index rose to plus 7 from plus 5, and small-sized firms swung to optimistic territory at plus 1 from minus 1 in the previous survey. Non-manufacturers posted a more mixed picture: large firms at plus 16 vs. plus 13; mid-size steady at plus 7; small firms falling to minus 1 from zero. The results helped push the Japanese yen slightly lower, with the dollar inching up to �118.16 compared to �117.95 moments ahead of the tankan release.
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