Japan wholesale inflation unchanged in April

The pace of gains in Japan's producer prices was unchanged in April from the previous month, as higher crude-oil prices maintained inflationary pressure.

The Bank of Japan said on Tuesday the preliminary Producer Price Index rose 0.9 percent last month from the same period a year earlier.

The index measures the prices companies charge each other for goods and services.

Prices of oil and coal products have been rising on the back of Middle East tensions and the strong US economy. Higher prices of nonferrous metals, including copper and gold as investors anticipate economic recovery in China, was another factor.

Meanwhile, food and beverage wholesale inflation which has a major impact on the overall index has slowed. That is despite moves to pass on higher transport and labor costs in prices.

In all, producer prices rose for nearly 400 items out of 515 surveyed, while they fell for 99.

The focus now is how the weak yen will affect procurement costs and factory gate prices over the coming months.