Japan's core machinery orders fell 3.9% in March from the previous month, down for the first time in three months, Cabinet Office data showed on Thursday.

The fall in core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, compared with a 3.0% decline expected by the market.

Compared with a year earlier, core orders, which exclude those for ships and from electric power utilities, declined 2.4% in March.

Manufacturers surveyed by the Cabinet Office forecast core orders would rise 7.1% in April-June, after climbing 3.3% in the previous quarter.

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