[TOKYO] Confidence at big Japanese manufacturers held steady in the three months to December but is seen worsening ahead, a closely watched central bank survey showed on Monday.
The headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment stood at plus 12 in December, unchanged from three months ago, the Bank of Japan's quarterly "tankan" survey showed.
That compared with the median estimate of plus 11 in a Reuters poll of economists.
Big firms plan to raise capital spending by 10.8 per cent in the fiscal year that ends in March, compared with their previous plan for a 10.9 per cent increase and with economists' median estimate of a 10.2 per cent expansion.
The tankan's sentiment indexes are derived by subtracting the number of respondents who say conditions are poor from those who say they are good. A positive reading means optimists outnumber pessimists.