Japan's core machinery orders fell 9.1 percent in April from a month earlier, data on Thursday showed, retreating from a record 19.1 percent increase in March.
The decline in machinery orders, a volatile indicator viewed as a gauge of capital spending in the next six to nine months, compared with analyst forecasts in a Reuters poll for an 11.9 percent fall.
"The inevitable plunge in machinery orders in April does not alter our view that investment spending will continue to recover. Our forecasts for the output gap still point to rising capital expenditure," analysts at Capital Economics said in a report.
The yen traded at a more than one-week high of 102 per dollar following the slightly better-than-expected data.
Compared with a year earlier, machinery orders rose 17.6 percent against analyst expectations for a 13.2 percent rise.
The benchmark Nikkei stock index meanwhile opened down 0.8 percent in early Tokyo trade.