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Tech Gains Boost Canada Shares

Canada's benchmark TSE 300 managed to stay in the green column on Friday despite the selloff in the U.S. indices (news of a troop build-up in the Middle East hit the markets at 2:45 EDT, an added weight). The TSE 300 closed at 7739.7, up 32.8 points on the day but down 76.4 points (1.0%) on the week. Gains in Research In Motion and Nortel Networks offset losses by banks and oil and gas stocks. Standard & Poor's will look for an attempt higher next week, and thinks the trend is firmly down -- hence the risk will be for a slide back.

European markets ended mixed. In London, the Financial Times 100 Index gave up 24.30 points, or 0.43%, to 5665.70. In France, the CAC 40 Index was up 48.70, or 0.95%, to 5183.67. Germany's Dax Index closed lower by 48.11 points, or 0.81%, to 5878.27 as German business confidence fell to a two year low in May with little prospect of recovery in Europe's biggest economy, the Ifo research institute said.

Asian markets closed mixed. Japan's Nikkei Index gained 82.18 points, or 0.63%, to close at 13044.61. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index lost 13.43 points, or 0.10%, to close at 13174.02.

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