European stock markets finished lower. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was down 29.1 points, or 0.64%, to 4,539.9 in reaction to yesterday's late U.S. market selloff on higher interest rate fears. Some investors were disturbed by Chancellor Brown's warnings for corporations to keep a lid on wage increases because he won't tolerate inflation, reports Standard & Poor's MarketScope.
Germany's DAX index fell 34.98 points, or 0.86%, to 4,026.15. In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 30.28 points, or 0.8%, to 3,743.15.
Asian markets finished lower on Wednesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index declined 7.96 points, or 0.07%, to close at 11,944.3, as tech names slid after Tuesday's strong performance and amid cautious sentiment ahead of Greenspan's congressional testimony later Wednesday. Analysts say a U.S. interest rate hike could lead to selling of U.S. stocks, which would encourage foreign investors to take profits on Japanese stocks as well.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 167.07 points, or 1.35%, to close at 12,227.3.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 29.93 points, or 0.35%, to 8,573.05.