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Europe Markets End Lower

European markets faltered amid news of a 2.1% rise in the August consumer price index in the EMU, amid rising energy prices, and partly due to a bounce of travel related services prices linked to the late timing of German summer school holidays. Food prices in Italy and Germany failed to show any effect from predicted supply shortages from this year's heatwave. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index finished down 36.90 points, or 0.88%, at 4,161.10.

In Paris, the CAC 40 ended off 11.53 points, or 0.35%, to 3,311.42. Germany's DAX index shed 2.00 points, or 0.06%, at 3,490.67, after the German Finance Minister confirmed a 2003 budget deficit target of 3.8%, up from 3.5% in 2002, while the public debt burden is to rise to 63% of GDP from 60.8% in 2002. Germany's July retail sales fell 1.6% month over month and 2.2% year over year, below market expectations.

Asian markets finished higher. The Nikkei 225 index added 118.33 points, or 1.16%, to finish at 10,343.55, amid an unexpected increase in Japan's industrial output. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 148.87 points, or 1.38%, to close at 10,908.99.

Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 1.69, or 0.02%, to 7,515.26.

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