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TOKYO, April 3 Japanese big manufacturers'
business confidence improved in March from three months ago, the
Bank of Japan's closely watched quarterly "tankan" survey showed
The headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment stood at
plus 12 in March and is expected to fall to plus 11 over the
next three months, the tankan showed.
The reading compared with plus 10 seen in the previous
survey in December and a median market forecast of plus 14.
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
(Reporting by Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by