Canadian Market Hit by Weak Telecoms

British Telecom leads FTSE lower; Nikkei slumps on profit-taking

Canadian stocks closed mixed, with major indexes firmly lower after JDS Uniphase (JDSU ) and Nortel (NT ) were hit by profit warnings from Corning (GLW ). The Toronto Stock Exchange fell 122.79 points to 9183.40 points. Industrial-products shares led the way lower, but the downside was limited by strong financial-services shares after the U.S. Employment Cost Index rose a lower than expected 0.8% in December. Canadian bonds ended mixed, with longer issued higher, shorter issues lower as Greenspan finished speaking before the U.S. Senate. Oil shares finished mixed.

The Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index, which rose 50 points Wednesday, finished Thursday's session with a loss of 8.80 points to close at 6255.60 points. The biggest contributor to the decline in the FTSE was British Telecom (U.BT ). U.S. Fed chairman Greenspan's testimony did not unsettle bond traders, who expect lower U.S. short-term rates on Jan. 31. The British 10-year bond yield fell 1.2 basis points to 4.948%. There is a growing opinion that the Bank of England will cut rates at its February meeting.

The Nikkei 225 index lost yet another round, a technical knockout no less -- and its third consecutive, after slugging it out against the bears. The index shed 90.20 points to end another torrid day at 13,803.38 points. Market participants blamed profit-taking led by investors' concerns over when Japan's central bank would introduce much-needed stock-boosting measures. There will be more bad news to come if Sony's (SNE ) Q3 earnings fall lower than expected. The Hong Kong market will be closed Jan. 24 through Jan. 26 for the Lunar New Year holidays.