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Europe Stocks End Lower


European stock markets closed lower on Friday.

London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was off 0.60 points, or 0.01%, to 4,515 as the pound sterling fell to $1.8847 on profit taking, which makes U.K. shares cheaper. Some 50 FTSE stocks were down and 46 were up on turnover of 512.7 million shares.

In Paris, the CAC 40 was off 26.04 points, or 0.69%, to 3,733.28 as French fourth quarter gross domestic product rose 0.5%, thanks to 0.7% rise in French business investment. 27 CAC stocks were lower and 12 were higher on turnover of 26.3 million shares. Credit Agricole was lower and Total (TOT ) was higher.

Germany's DAX index lost 68.18 points, or 1.65%, to 4,073.35 as December factory orders rose a revised 1.62% but construction orders fell 4.1%. Of the DAX stocks, 21 were lower and 9 were higher on turnover of 50.7 million shares.

Asian markets finished mixed on Friday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index lost 33.11 points, or 0.31%, to 10,720.69. Overall, the week was positive for Japan stocks after a a government report showing that the economy grew at its fastest pace in 13 years in the fourth quarter. Nissan was one of the week's strong performers as the yen posted its largest weekly loss versus the dollar since March, 2003. But the issuance of the nation's highest-level terror alert after the close on Friday may weigh on the market when trading resumes Monday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 1.15 points, or 0.01%, to 13,868.37.

Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX dropped 57.18 points, or 0.66%, to 8,641.93.


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