Canadian Stocks Sink on U.S. Fed News

European markets slump; Nikkei slides lower

Canadian stocks finished mixed, weighed down by a retreat in the U.S. equity market following the conclusion of Greenspan's testimony. The TSE 300 closed 57.83 lower at 8942.10; earlier, it rose to 9115.03 on news of Nortel's receiving contracts in China. Breadth was 694-576 positive. North American bonds also fell after Greenspan said U.S. economy won't slip into recession, and parried questions about a tax cut. Strong retail sales data supported his second-half recovery thesis. The March Canadian dollar settled unchanged at 65.72 cents vs. the U.S. dollar. March crude settled $0.15 lower at $30.36.

After strong gains Monday, European markets ended lower Tuesday. The London Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index finished down 12.90 points, or 0.21%, to 6,228.50. In Germany, the DAX Index closed down 6.98 points, or 0.11%, to 6,557.93. Meanwhile, France's CAC 40 ended down 20.45 points, or 0.36%, to 5,739.03.

Asia's markets finished on a mixed note. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index finished down 148.13 points, or 1.10%, to 13,274.70, amid uncertainty around corporate earnings due in the next few weeks. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, meanwhile, ended up 149.61 points, or 0.95%, to 3,286.70.

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