Canada Shares Follow Wall Street Lower

Europe markets finish down; Asia stocks close mixed

Canada's benchmark TSE 300 dropped 99.4 points to close at 7,591.10, as accounting concerns continued to weigh heavily on the market. Still, the TSE 300 is "outperforming" thanks to the US$3 pop in spot gold. However, 11 of the 14 subindices fell.

Europe markets finished lower. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was off 22.40 points, or 0.43%, to 5,167.30, following Bill Gates' downbeat assessment of an economic recovery, the Tokyo stock market slide and potential major bank trouble in Argentina. But some traders were encouraged by the Daily Telegraph report business confidence improved.

In France, the Paris CAC 40 was off 58.02 points, or 1.30% to 4,397.54. And Germany's DAX index lost 112.58 points, or 2.21% to 4,984.48 on the lower open in the U.S. stock market. Investors were ignorning reports that European business confidence improved in January to its highest level since September 11.

Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 159.50 points, or 1.63%, to 9,651.93, its lowest close since September 2001. Banks were hit the hardest by sagging faith in the Koizumi government.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 30.07 points, or 0.28%, to 10,721.32.

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