Asia Stocks Fall on Bank Downgrades, Weak Yen

Europe closes mixed while Canada slips as markets fret over fourth-quarter earnings season

European markets closed mixed. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index ended a volatile session higher by 10.70 points, or 0.21%, to 5,149.20. In France, the Paris CAC 40 added 22.92 points, or 0.52%, or 4,446.42. But Germany's DAX index slid 24.02 points, or 0.47%, to 5,045.72, on weakness in technology issues and concerns over the upcoming earnings season.

Canadian stocks fell amid worries over fourth-quarter earnings. The benchmark TSE index, led by tech stocks, slipped to 7,559.30, down 23.55 points, or 0.31%.

Asian markets ended sharply lower on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei dropped 229.27 points, or 2.23%, 10,050.98 as weakness in the yen along with downgrades of about 10 banks torpedoed stocks. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 202.56 points, or 1.84%, to 10,797.69.

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