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Choppy Trade Offsets Canada's Bank Stock Gains

Canada's benchmark TSE 300 ended a choppy day down a mere 2.9 points to 8191.5. Wednesday's close at the low of the day and another bearish break Thursday in key stock Nortel were offset by the positive bias in the U.S. indices. Half of the 14 sectors closed up, led by Financials and Communication/Media stocks while the Utilities and the Oil/Gas sector closed down.

Financial services stocks rose after the Canadian Senate on Wednesday passed a financial services reform bill.

European markets closed mixed. In London, the Financial Times 100 closed up 46.80 points, or 0.79%, to 5948.30. France's CAC 40 Index lost 43.10 points, or 0.78%, to end the session at 5453.39. In Germany, the DAX Index lost 9.38 points, or 0.15%, to 6183.06.

Asian markets ended higher. In Tokyo, the Nikkei closed up 0.8% at 13,277.51, and the TOPIX 0.3% at 1,309.86. Core private machinery orders rose 6.3% MoM in April, far beating expectations of just under 1%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 127.42 points, or 0.94% to close at 13703.43.

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