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BOJ's Tankan survey points to end of 'virtuous cycle'

A security officer stands guard outside the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo, where cherry blossoms were beginning to open on March 31.

TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan's latest Tankan business sentiment survey has offered some fresh signs that the "virtuous cycle" touted by the central bank as a big prop for the economy is winding down.

     Economic slowdowns in key emerging countries and the yen's upturn against other major currencies have combined to pull down earnings of Japanese companies, especially manufacturers.

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