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Business confidence among large companies deteriorated in the October-December quarter and sank to a record low as firms increasingly felt pessimistic amid the global economic plunge, a government survey showed Wednesday.

The index of business conditions at companies capitalized at ¥1 billion or more came to minus 35.7 on an all-industry basis, down 25.5 points from minus 10.2 in the July-September quarter, according to the joint survey by the Cabinet Office and the Finance Ministry.

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