European markets ended lower. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 40.80 points, or 0.79%, to 5,120.00, as drug stocks fell in reaction to Merck's warning. In France, the CAC 40 was off 41.26 points, or 0.91%, to 4,510.68. In Germany, the DAX Index dropped 84.95 points, or 1.65%, to 5,061.50, as Dresdner Kleinwort downgraded Deutsche Bank to hold and the German trade surplus unexpectedly widened in October.
Asian markets soared. The Nikkei rose 327.61 points, or 3.13%, to 10,801.52, as better-than-expected results in parts of the Bank of Japan's December Tankan business survey indicated that conditions aren't as severe as previously thought. In Hong Kong, the market added 154.01 points, or 1.32%, to 11,847.06.
Canada's TSE 300 gained 46.07 points, or 0.61%, to 7,577.70. The ratio between advancing versus declining stocks have narrowed considerably to 156 to 122. A break below 7500 cannot be ruled out at this time and that would flash a near term sell signal.