Canada Shares Rally on Bargain Hunting

Germany index falls on narrower than expected production data; Hong Kong's Hang Seng plunges 2.8%

Canadian stocks closed higher, buoyed for the second straight session by late-afternoon bargain hunting following earlier weakness. The TSE 300 rose 25.08 to 8103.80. The S&P/TSE 60 rose 2.51 to 475.11. Breadth was 667-554 positive. Gains in heavily weighted Financial Services and commodities-related sectors offset losses in Industrial Products, Consumer Products, and Conglomerates. Government of Canada bonds had a mixed session. The June Canadian dollar settled lower at 64.61 cents vs. the U.S. dollar. April crude settled $0.23 higher at $27.62. April gold settled $1.60 lower at $266.20.

European markets ended lower. The London Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index finished down 9.30, or 0.16%, to 5908.60. In Germany, the DAX Index closed off 84.86, or 1.37%, to 6123.38, amid reports that fourth quarter GDP rose 1.9% for all of 2000, which was below the Bundesbank forecast of 2.5% annual growth. The growth was the slowest in a year and a half. Meanwhile, France's CAC 40 Index closed down 26.14, or 0.49%, to 5341.34.

In Asia, the markets ended lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed down 201.88, or 1.57%, to 12681.66. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index plummeted 427.31, or 2.89%, to 14360.56.