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Nearly half of Japan firms see weak yen as bad for business – survey

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Illustrative picture shows Japanese 10,000 yen bank notes spread out at an office of World Currency Shop in Tokyo in this August 9, 2010 illustrative picture. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nearly half of Japanese companies see the weak yen as bad for their business, a private survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the currency’s recent sharp decline is hurting business sentiment and clouding the economic outlook.

The yen’s decline to a 24-year low against the dollar is inflating the cost of raw material imports, hurting retailers and households and creating a headache for politicians facing an upper house election next month.

When asked how the yen’s decline to around 130 per dollar was affecting their business, 46.7% of companies polled said the impact was negative, the survey by Tokyo Shoko Research showed.

About 21.7% said the weak yen had both positive and negative effects, while 28.5% said it had no impact. Just 3% said the yen’s fall was good for their business.

Among smaller companies, the ratio of those who felt the weak yen was negative for their business was 48.2%.

The yen stood at 134.55 per dollar on Tuesday, after hitting a 24-year low of 135.22 on Monday. It has fallen 14% against the dollar this year.

The poll questionnaire was sent from June 1 to 9 to 5,667 firms; 2,649 replied.

Japanese policymakers have escalated verbal warnings against sharp falls in the yen, but their remarks have had little effect in slowing the currency’s slide.

Many market players expect the yen’s decline to continue as investors focus on policy divergence between the Bank of Japan, which has vowed to keep interest rates ultra-low, and its U.S. counterpart, which is planning aggressive rate hikes.

Nearly half of Japan firms see weak yen as bad for business – survey

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