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Europe Markets End Mixed

European stock markets closed mixed Thursday. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index eased 34.40 points, or 0.76%, to 4,476.80 on reports that December house prices rose at their strongest pace in 13 months, heightening fears that the Bank of England will raise rates soon to blunt the inflation trend. But some investors were encouraged by a report that manufacturing and services growth revived in the fourth quarter.

In Paris, the CAC 40 added 19.22 points, or 0.52%, to 3,695.60 with help from a report that French consumer spending rose 0.2% in December.

Germany's DAX index gained 1.82 points, or 0.04%, to 4,139.86 as there was little reaction to a report that German retail sales fell 1% last year. German bankers say that the higher currency is unlikely to dent the economic recovery.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index lost 1.69 points, or 0.02%, to close at 11,000.70.

Hong Kong's market was closed for the Lunar New Year celebration.

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