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Weak yen loses its magic for Japan's manufacturers

Latest BOJ survey highlights pressure from surging commodity prices

An auto worker at Ford-Mazda joint-venture plant in Thailand. Japanese companies have been relying more on overseas production, meaning that a weak yen helps them less than it once did.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Confidence among Japan's largest manufacturers is declining as the weak yen that long helped the nation's exports compete abroad increasingly turns into a setback amid a global surge in commodity prices.

Business sentiment among large Japanese manufacturers declined for the first time in seven quarters in the BOJ's new Tankan survey published Friday -- its first since Russia began invading Ukraine in late February and the yen weakened by nearly 10 against the dollar in March.

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