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Business Confidence Data Lifts Europe Markets

European markets ended higher amid better-than-expected data reported in Germany. An index of business confidence showed a rise for a third month in Europe's largest economy. The data raises expectations that Germany will recover this year and bring the rest of the region along with it.

In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index ended up 30.60 points, or 0.59%, to 5,223.60. In France, the Paris CAC 40 gained 56.85 points, or 1.27%, to 4,541.16. Germany's DAX index ticked up 2.39 points, or 0.05%, to 5,159.02, after initial enthusiasm over data on business confidence faded. And Deutsche Telekom weighed on stocks in the country lower on worries that German authorities will block its sale of cable units.

Canada's benchmark TSE 300 was not able to maintain its upbeat note in afternoon dealings. The TSE fell 15.60 points, or 0.20%, to 7,643.70. Most of the potential market moving news is not scheduled for release until near the end of the week. The Fed's decision on interest rates ranks high on the list of things to watch (Jan. 30). Merchandising stocks performed well. The oil and gas sector underperformed as investors opted for a more defensive approach in light of the PanCanadian and Alberta Energy merger.

Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 76.71 points, or 0.76% to 10,220.85, on hopes for global economic recovery. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 5.50 points, or 0.05%, to 10,767.46.

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