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Canada Shares Slump at Close

Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 57.33 points, or 0.74%, to 7,667.75, giving up nearly half the gains it made Thursday. Investors opted to adopt a defensive posture ahead of the long U.S. weekend. With America on terrorist alert, S&P's MMS says the stock markets are presently not the ideal place for Canadian investors to seek refuge.

European markets finished mixed. London's FTSE 100 index ended with a loss of 6.20 points, or 0.12%, to 5,169.10, as UK first quarter GDP was unchanged as the manufacturing sector sank 1.5%. France's CAC 40 index fell 4.16 points, or 0.10%, to 4,337.43, after French first quarter GDP rose 0.4%. And Germany's DAX index gained 19.63 points, or 0.4%, to 4,899.13.

Asian stocks ended mixed. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 3.57 points, or 0.03%, to close at 11,976.28. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 2.03 points, or 0.02%, to close at 11,626.78.

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