Japanese economy recovering

Japan's core machinery orders rose in January, according to figures out this morning, in a sign that rebuilding the country's earthquake-battered northeast coast could propel capital expenditure and support the overall economy. Core machinery orders, which help gauge the strength of capital spending, rose 3.4 per cent in January from the previous month, beating a median market forecast for a 1.6 per cent increase. The better than expected figures helped the Nikkei stock index break through 10,000 in early trading.