Canadian stocks closed lower, with market sentiment battered by a new hailstorm of profit warnings and economic uncertainties. The TSE 300 fell 198.32 to 7444.40. Financial Services and Industrial Products led 13 of 14 subindexes lower. Only Gold & Precious Minerals rose, bolstered by a rise in gold prices. Breadth was 725-419 negative. North American bonds rose as investors sold stocks; there was little reaction to the news that U.S. factory orders fell in February. The Canadian dollar weakened vs. the U.S. dollar. April gold settled $1.20 higher at $256.80. May crude settled $0.60 higher at $26.19.
In Europe, the markets finished lower on earnings worries, and fears the U.S. markets were headed lower. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index ended down 155.40 points, or 2.77%, to 5,463.10. In Germany, the DAX Index lost 207.30 points, or 3.60%, to 5,553.46. In France, the CAC 40 shed 206.48 points, or 3.96%, to 5,004.
In Asia, the markets ended mixed. The Nikkei gained 186.61 points, or 1.44%, to 13,124.47, led largely by bank issues. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng ended down 143.08 points, or 1.12%, to 12,584.22.