Canada's benchmark TSE 300 fell 18.34 points to 7,548.80 as investors continued to fret over earnings quality and accounting issues. While the FOMC announcement was right in line, the U.S. markets enjoyed solid rallies in the final hour.
The fall comes as the Toronto Stock Exchange and Standard & Poor's announced a series of changes to Canada's Benchmark Index, to be implemented on May 1, including a name change to "S&P/TSE Composite Index." The revisions represent the first major change to the Index since 1977. Most significant among the changes are new criteria for inclusion in the index, which no longer will be required to have exactly 300 components. Instead company size and liquidity will be the key factors in determining membership.
European markets ended lower on the heels of the sharp sell-off on the U.S. stock market Tuesday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 42.10 points, or 0.82%, to 5,089.30. In France, the Paris CAC 40 slipped 68.83 points, or 1.54%, to 4,407.27. Germany's DAX index stumbled 32.32 points, or 0.64%, to 5,052.20, amid the European Commission's warning to Germany and Portugal to lower their budget deficits.
Asian markets ended lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 106.55 points, or 1.06%, to 9,919.48. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dived 257.28 points, or 2.34%, to 10,756.96.