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Europe Stocks Decline

European stock markets finished lower Tuesday. In London, stocks were pressured after insurer Prudential PLC (PUK) announced it would stop raising its dividend. The FTSE 100 index was down 80.3 points, or 2.17%, to 3,621.5.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 102.24 points, or 3.67%, to 2,683.37. In Frankfurt, the DAX index fell 85.85 points, or 3.34%, to 2,485.5. Bayer was one of the big decliners; Bloomberg reported that some of the selling may have been due to court papers which suggested that the company promoted the now-withdrawn cholesterol drug Baycol while knowing it made some patients ill.

In Asia, stocks ended lower. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index fell 204.46 points, or 2.39%, to close at 8,360.49. Tokyo's stock market expanded losses on Tuesday afternoon, following the morning news that North Korea had fired a test missile into the Sea of Japan. Other bear news included Wall Street's overnight 2% fall and Iraq's rejection of a U.N. request to destroy banned missiles.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index fell 90.99 points, or 0.98%, to close at 9,148.48.

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