Canada Shares End Higher on Stronger U.S. Confidence Data

Europe stocks finish mixed; Asia stocks end lower

Canada's benchmark TSE 300 went down, up, down, and then managed to edge into positive territory to close with a 5.4 point gain to 7,756.70. Much stronger than expected U.S. Consumer Confidence helped offset concerns about first quarter earnings. However, key utility stock closed down C$1.55 (to C$28.81) after an early rally attempt. Utilities led four of the subindices lower while Financials led the other 10 subindices higher. But a five-point gain does nothing to repair the damage of Monday's 100-plus point drop. Standard & Poo'rs Marketscope says to look for a slide back on Wednesday.

European stocks were mixed. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was down 8.10 points, or 0.16%, to 5,195.50, with little reaction to a report that said business investment fell 0.3% in the fourth quarter. In France, the CAC 40 added 39.71 points, or 0.87%, to 4,628.07. In Germany, the DAX Index jumped 73.21 points, or 1.38%, to 5,390.59, after the March read on the Ifo business confidence index showed a rise to 91.8 from 88.5 in February.

Asia markets ended lower. In Japan stocks fell 53.17 points, or 0.47%, to 11,207.92. The Nikkei fell for the fourth consecutive day following a poor showing in the U.S. stock market overnight on concerns over first-quarter earnings warnings. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dipped 49.72 points, or 0.46%, to 10,786.92.

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