JAPAN PRICE INDEX STEADY IN SEPTEMBER

JAPAN PRICE INDEX STEADY IN SEPTEMBER

Japan's overall wholesale price index (WPI) was steady in September compared with the previous month as the yen drifted lower from its recent peaks against the dollar, Tokyo analysts said.

But the downtrend in wholesale prices has not ended, as domestic demand remains sluggish. Prices are unlikely to swing upward in the near term, they said."A brake in the yen's recent rise helped pushed up yen-denominated import and export prices, which was a major factor to make overall WPI flat for September," said Yoshihiro Furukane, senior economist at Yamaichi Research Institute.

"But we still cannot see major signs that the WPI trend will shift upwards in the near future," Mr. Furukane added.

Overall WPI for September was unchanged from August and fell 3.7 percent

from a year earlier, the Bank of Japan said. In August, the overall index fell 0.6 percent from July and fell 4.1 percent from a year earlier.

"WPI was within our expectations, but the recent downtrend has not ended. I will not be surprised if the downtrend continues for another six months or so," said Nobuya Nemoto, economist at Nomura Research Institute.

Japan's domestic WPI, a key component of overall WPI, was down 0.2 percent in September from August, the Bank of Japan said.