European Stocks Close Higher

Canada and Asia markets also end with a strong finish

Canada's benchmark TSE 300 Composite Index rose to 7833.20, up 59.04 points or 0.76%.

European markets ended with gains. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was up 5 points, or 0.09%, to 5,323.80. The biggest contributors to the advance in the FTSE were HSBC Holdings and Vodafone. The CIPS December Services index rose to 49.4 from 47.3 in November and consumer borrowing rose to record levels in December prompting the BoE's George to talk of raising rates.

In France, the CAC 40 added 1.59 points, or 0.03%, to 4,682.79. In Germany, the DAX Index was up 29.14 points, or 0.55%, to 5,299.43 with the biggest contributors to the gains in the DAX being DaimlerChrysler, SAP and Deutsche Bank. German 10-year bond yield rose 3.3 bps to 4.973%. Meanwhile, the German December PMI Service industry index rose to 48.3 from 45.1 in November. But Bundesbank's Reckers says the German economy is still weakening.

Asia equity markets surged following Thursday's gains on Wall Street. The Nikkei added 328.87 points, or 3.12%, to 10,871.49 as tech shares led the Tokyo market higher. Positive news from the U.S. and a strong performance from Wall Street contributed a spurt in the Tokyo stock market on its first trading day for 2002. In Hong Kong, the market added 278.63 points, or 2.44%, to 11,702.15.

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