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European Stock Markets Finish Higher

European stock markets finished slightly higher. The bourses were sold off, following the dip in U.S. consumer confidence, but recovered before the close. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index gained 16.3 points, or 0.38%, to 4,347.6 on some short covering, and bargain hunting before the weekend, according to S&P's MarketScope. The pound sterling remains up, at an 11-year high around $1.74 as U.S. rates stay lower. Sage Group, and Xstrata were both higher and active.

In Paris, the CAC 40 finished up 2.7 points, or 0.08%, to 3,470.6, as French Industrial Production rose 1.3% in October, more than expected, and the fastest pace since August 2001. Meanwhile, imports rose, and the trade surplus narrowed. French Telecom was trading higher after winning government approval to lower its tariffs for high speed Internet services to phone operators and providers.

Germany's DAX index closed up 1.28 points, or 0.03%, to 3,860.13, off of an earlier, 15-month high level on hopes for a stronger economy. Automaker DaimlerChrysler was higher, as it raises its stake in Mitsubishi Motors' truckmaking unit.

Asian markets finished higher Friday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rose 94.52 points, or 0.94%, to 10,169.66, on news that the Japanese economy continues recovering, and encouraged by a rise in the Nasdaq overnight. Tech and blue-chip stocks rallied, with Nikon adding 7.18%, Tokyo Electron rose 3.47%, and Advantest increased 3.38%. A 14% plunge in Softbank weighed on the market.

Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX rose 23.02 points, or 0.29%, to 7,979.20.

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