Canadian Stocks Slide as Tech Rally Sputters

Rate-cut talks spur Europe shares; Key Asia markets end mixed

Canadian stocks were mostly higher, but major indexes closed with minor losses as a technology-share rally failed ahead of Cisco's earnings announcement. Financials slipped in profit taking after Monday's strength. The TSE 300 fell 4.65 to 9301.40 on higher industrial products and utilities shares. Oil and gas shares were higher as energy futures rose ahead of the American Petroleum Institute report. Breadth was 739-511 positive. Government of Canada bonds were mixed ahead of the much-anticipated Bank of Canada monetary policy report, which will be the market's opportunity to see the Bank's reaction to an economic slowdown. The March Canadian dollar closed lower at 66.19 vs. the U.S. dollar.

European markets ended the day higher. London's FTSE 100 ended up 24.20, or 0.39%, to 6,293.40, as investors awaited an interest-rate decision from the Bank of England this week. In Germany, the DAX Index finished up 64.96, or 0.98%, to 6,693.03, even though the German unemployment rate rose to 9.3% in December from 9.2% in November. German investors were encouraged that EuroZone retail sales rose 0.2% in November. In Paris, the CAC 40 ended up 28.86, or 0.50%, at 5,852.35.

Asian markets finished mixed. Japan's Nikkei finished down 115.67, or 0.86%, at 13,269.85 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng stock finished up 82.40, or 1.50%, at 15,830.84.