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Europe Stocks End Higher

European stock markets finished higher Tuesday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 added 8.9 points, or 0.21%, to 4,185.6. The biggest contributors to the advance in the FTSE included HSBC Holdings, GlaxoSmithKline, Barclays, and Royal Bank of Scotland. Bulls sighted signs of a recovering economy when the British Retail Consortium noted growth in July sales, and the government reported that inflation rose for first time in 5 months.

In Germany, the DAX Index was up 42.13 points, or 1.26%, to 3,381.71 with help from a report that the German July semiconductor book-to-bill ratio rose to 0.91 from 0.88 in June. The biggest contributors to the advance in the DAX included Allianz, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, DaimlerChrysler, and SAP.

In France, the CAC 40 was up 19.91 points, or 0.62%, to 3,208.23 as French June industrial production rose a surprising 1.2%.

In Asia, major stock indexes finished higher. Japan's Nikkei index finished up 77.01 points, or 0.81%, to close at 9,564.81. The Japanese government reported that real GDP in the April-June term rose 0.6% quarter over quarter (up 2.3% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate), beating market expectations. Although the number of market participants was limited in Tokyo, the good economic news boosted stocks such as major banks.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 90.63 points, or 0.9%, to close at 10,184.17.

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