Nikkei closes flat as Tankan survey disappoints

<p>Japan’s business sentiment has slipped as the manufacturing sector suffers.</p>

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo has closed on a flat footing this morning (December 14th) as a closely-watched business survey indicated the world's third-largest economy's business sentiment is worsening.

According to the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey, its index of large manufacturers deteriorated to -12 from -3 in the previous quarter, with productivity being damaged by poor export demand, subdued domestic consumption and a strong yen – which has made Japan's goods less attractive overseas.

The index measures sentiment among large companies and has remained negative for five consecutive quarters.

But these latest figures come after revised growth figures earlier this week indicated Japan is back in a technical recession.

The nation's struggling economy shrank by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of the year.

At close of play this morning, the Nikkei 225 was flat, making marginal declines of five points to an index value of 9737/5 points.

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