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Canada Shares End Higher

Canada's benchmark TSE 300 closed up a healthy 81.5 points to 7,899.60. Of the 14 subindices, 10 closed up -- led by the Financials and Gold. On the week the TSE 300 is up 169

points (2.2%).

European stock markets closed higher, with information technology shares falling across Europe. Nokia and Ericcson dropped, while a modest gain in Financials (the largest sector by market capitalization) helped offset the decline in tech stocks.

In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was up 14.20 points, or 0.27%, 5,243.60 as the US market was higher. There was no economic news at the end of a winning week.

In France, the CAC 40 gained 17.59 points, or 0.38%, at 4,606.42.

Germany's Dax Index was up 21.67 points, or 0.41%, at 5,284.55 as some worried that the IG Metall labor agreement will be inflationary, leading to a slow economic recovery. German February construction orders rose 6.1%.

In Asia, the markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei lost 63.72 points, or 0.55% to close at 11,512.01 as Japan's two major stock indices ended lower, but recouped some of their early losses, as technology shares weighed down the market on earnings pessimism resulting from poor outlooks from Microsoft and Nokia. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng added 35.03 points, or 0.31%, to close at 11,252.18.

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