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Europe Stocks Skid

European markets were sharply lower amid worries about economic growth. Weak economic data out of the UK, where the economy has so far remained in somewhat better health than the rest of Europe or the U.S., put investors on the defensive. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index lost 79.10 points, or 1.94%, to 3,996.40. July industrial production skidded 4.3%, the largest decrease in 23 years amid decreased demand for UK goods. But a separate report showed UK housing prices spurted 1.9% in July.

In France, the CAC 40 fell 129.99 points, or 4.01%, to 3,115.38. And in Germany, the DAX Index skidded 199.84 points, or 5.66%, to 3,332.65 as the German PMI index decreased to 50.8 from 50.9.

On Tuesday, the main European economic data will be EMU unemployment. On the corporate front, Novo Nordisk will post results.

In Asia, the markets finished lower. The Nikkei was down 4.73 points, or 0.05%, to 9,704.93, weighed down by declines in semiconductor-related shares after Tokyo Electron lowered its fiscal year 2002 (ends March 2003) earnings projections and National Semiconductor of the U.S. revised down its June-August sales forecast. However, the market was supported by hopes of a tax cut.

In Hong Kong, the market lost 129.39 points, or 1.29%, to 9,862.33.

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