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European Stocks End Higher

European stocks were mostly higher Wednesday, amid reports of optimism across major markets. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 finished up 4.20 points, or 0.10%, to 4,141.20, after surveys showed June U.K. retail sales grew at fastest rate in 15 months and consumer optimism rose to an 8-month high.

In Germany, the DAX Index turned up 6.16 points, or 0.18%, to 3,434.28, as German consumer confidence, bolstered by recently enacted tax cuts, rises for a fifth consecutive month. In France, the CAC 40 ended higher by 30.12 points, or 0.96%, to 3,172.51, as French business confidence rose for first time this year.

In Asia, major stock indexes tumbled. Japan's Nikkei index finished down 201.65 points, or 2.05%, to 9,632.66, as losses increased for high-tech stocks on disappointing earnings. Following Fujitsu's sluggish results on Tuesday, Toshiba reported a steep quarterly loss. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 77.38 points, or 0.76%, to 10,121.22.

Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX dropped 22.36 points, or 0.31%, to 7,204.99.

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