European stock markets finished lower. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was down 4.1 points, or 0.09%, to 4,468.7, failing to sustain the day's meagre gains as trading soured on Wall Street. Sentiment took a hit from Nokia's profit warning yesterday, disappointing first-quarter numbers from Alcoa, and further fighting in Iraq.
Germany's DAX index was down 21.65 points, or 0.54%, to 4,001.16. DaimlerChrysler (DCX ) fell despite reaffirming that it expects a slight improvement in earnings in 2004 and a clear improvement in 2005 and 2006.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index fell 11.55 points, or 0.31%, to 3,734.56.
Asian markets finished mixed on Wednesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index fell 60.08 points, or 0.5%, to 12,019.62. The market fell after Nokia reported an unexpected drop in first-quarter sales that may limit earnings growth at suppliers such as TDK Corp. and Kyocera. Japanese banking and retail stocks gained after Moody's Investors Services raised the nation's foreign currency debt rating to Aaa, Moody's highest ranking.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 33.08 points, or 0.26%, to 12,920.05.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 25.12 points, or 0.28%, to 8,807.59.