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Europe Stocks Close Mixed


European stock markets closed mixed on Thursday. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was up 15.90 points, or 0.37%, to 4,328.10. Royal & Sun Alliance was higher after posting pretax operating profit ahead of expectations and predicted a "strong" second half. BOC Group was up on news that a U.S. appeals court overturned most of a $174 million jury ruling against the company and its Fluorogas unit in Texas.

In Germany, the DAX index was lower by 20.80 points, or 0.57%, to 3,658.11 as German preliminary second quarter GDP growth edged up to 0.5% from 0.4% in the first quarter, in line with expectations. MAN AG was lower as the truckmaker's reiteration of its outlook for full-year profit disappointed some investors. FJH AG was lower as the company's first-half sales fell 41%, which prompted WestLB to cut its recommendation on the shares to "sell".

In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 8.72 points, or 0.25%, to 3,494.23 as French flash second quarter GDP rose 0.8%, which bit better than market expectations of 0.6%. Altran was lower after warning about first half results.

Asian stock markets closed mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index shed 21.39 points, or 0.19%, to 11,028.07, as semiconductor stocks extended losses. Advantest Corp slipped 1.33%, Tokyo Electron fell 1.95% and Rohm was down 2.71%. Investors also dumped shares of brokerages amid growing concerns about the domestic market's outlook following U.S. economic uncertainty and stubbornly high oil prices. Nomura Holdings inched down 0.65%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 70.30 points, or 0.57%, to 12,413.43. Lenovo skyrocketed 9.88% after posting strong quarterly results. Cathay Pacific fell 1.5% after releasing disappointing interim results.


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