Higher energy and food prices saw Japan's core consumer prices record their first annual rise in 10 months in October, but the modest 0.1 percent gain only slightly boosted expectations of a rate hike early next year.
As well, a fall in the number of job offers to the lowest in nearly two years raised concerns about the strength of the Japanese job market, one of the brightest spots in the economy.
"Rising raw material costs are hurting business sentiment at medium-sized and small companies, which are unable to pass rising costs on to their customers. That's why the job market is losing momentum," said Seiji Adachi, senior economist at Deutsche Securities.
Financial markets were transfixed by problems in the world's credit market, which have sent the yen gyrating, rather than the data, as investors expect the Bank of Japan to hold off raising interest rates until well into next year.
Swap contracts on the overnight call rates were pricing in less than a 30 percent chance of a rate hike by March, when BOJ Governor Toshihiko Fukui retires, up from around 25 percent previously.
The budding signs of rising prices in Japan's core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood, was just above the median forecast from economists for a flat reading.