Europe Stocks Finish Mixed

Bank stocks hurt Tokyo shares; Canada shares advance at close

European stock markets finished mixed. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index finished down 9.9 points, or 0.23%, to 4,242.2. In Paris, the CAC 40 ended 19.54 points higher, or 0.59%, to 3,348.25. Germany's DAX index finished 29.98 points higher, or 0.85%, at 3,566.85. The death of Swedish Foreign Minister Lindh, an EMU proponent, from wounds sustained in a knife attack Wednesday, also overshadowed trading.

Asian markets finished mixed on Thursday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index lost 309.99 points, or 2.86%, to close at 10,546.33. A bearish mood dominated, despite a revised second quarter GDP in Japan, up to +1.0% compared to the prior quarter, the day before. "As if reflecting cautious market mood, some players even paid attention to the rumor that Tokyo area could be hit by a major earthquake sometime next week," reports MMS. Major bank stocks declined, such as Mitsubishi Tokyo FG, down 4.07%. Tech stocks fell sharply across the board, affecting companies such as Tokyo Electron, down 6.04%; Advantest, which lost 5.5%; and Nikon, down 7.25%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 73.21 points, or 0.68%, to close at 10,883.52, as SARS fears eased.

Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX advanced 27.42 points, or 0.36%, to 7,598.48.

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