Japanese retail sales missed badly to the downside in September with the government reporting an annual decrease of 0.2%.
The figure, below the 0.8% increase of August and expectations for a moderation in growth to 0.4%, marked the first time since March that sales turned negative on year.
On Friday, the Bank of Japan will announce its latest monetary policy decision with markets evenly split on whether it will expand its current stimulus program, known as QQE, beyond the 80 trillion yen annual rate currently targeted by the bank.
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