European Stocks Finish Higher

Canadian shares climb; Asian markets end mixed

Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX index closed up 16.1 points Thursday at 6758.4. U.S. indexes enjoyed decent gains but the TSX gold and oil sectors experienced minor correction on the session, which led the index to trail its U.S. counterparts.

European markets closed in positive territory Thursday.

Despite morning news that Germany's economy slipped into a recession in the first quarter of 2003, the DAX index continued to trade up 63.35 points in the afternoon, or 2.17% to close at 2,989.38. The German economy contracted by 0.2% quarter over quarter, with negative net exports as the key dampening factor, says MMS International.

London's FTSE 100 index held above the 4,000 mark, up 0.91% to close at 4,011.10. The biggest contributors to the advance in the FTSE included Vodafone, BP-Amoco, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline.

In France, the CAC 40 index was up 1.15%, to close at 2,995.98.

Asian markets closed mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 average shed 121.51 points, to close 1.47% lower, at 8,123.40. Exporters and high-tech companies such as Sony, Nissan Motor, Advantest, and Nikon were down across the board, hurt by renewed strength in the yen.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index finished up 0.25% to 9,126.07.

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