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Europe Stocks Fall

European markets were lower. Investors booked profits prior to heading into next week, which will see the release of some pivotal data, and the last European Central Bank meeting date of the year-all signals point toward a looming rate cut, says chief economist Sherry Cooper at BMO Nesbitt Burns.

In economic news, European consumer confidence in November fell to the lowest level in more than five years and inflation slowed for the first time since June, according to press reports.

In London, the FTSE-100 index lost 16 points, or 0.4%, to 4,169.40. Frankfurt's DAX index fell 22 points, or 0.65%, to 3,338.78. The Paris CAC 40 index was down 3.34 points, or 0.5%, to 3,326.65.

In Asia, stocks ended mixed. Investors in Japan found reason to buy following Wednesday's rally in the U.S. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed up 38.78 points, or 0.42%, to 9,215.56. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index shed 77.97 points, or 0.77%, 10,069.87.

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