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Business sentiment among large manufacturers deteriorated in December, according to the Bank of Japan’s quarterly “tankan” index released Thursday, underscoring the growing concern over Europe’s sovereign credit risk and the persistent rise of the yen.

The business index for major manufacturers — companies capitalized at ¥1 billion or more — fell to minus-4, down 6 points from September, when it was plus-2. The reading in June was at minus-9 following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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