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Canadian Stocks Churn Lower as Earnings Season Kicks Off

Canadian stocks struggled today, with major indexes closing lower as earnings season gets underway; market participants now debating how long current downturn will last. TSE 300 fell 34.54 to 8744.00 as Industrial Products, Utilities fall. The California energy crisis worsened as Southern California Edison stopped payments on some obligations, rating agencies downgrade debt to junk status. GoC bonds are higher. Today's T-Bill sale produced average yield of 5.235% for 3-month, with 6-month getting 5.181%, 1-year 5.104%. March C$ slightly lower at 66.41 cts vs. US$.

European markets closed lower. The London Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was off 87 points, or 1.41%, at 6083.30 on the wobbliness in the U.S. market. In Germany, the DAX Index shed 11.83 points, or 0.18%, at 6,511.04 amid reports that German construction builders are to shed 50,000 jobs because construction spending easing. Meanwhile, France's CAC 40 was down 71.71 points, or 1.23%, at 5761.67.

The Asian markets finished higher. Japan's Nikkei ended up 78.22 points, up 0.58%, at 13,584.45 helped by gains in automaker Toyota on hopes that the expected unwinding of its shares by major banks will not go through. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished up 69.39 points, or 0.45%, at 15,363.15.

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