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Europe Stocks Finish Lower

European stock markets finished lower. The Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index in London was off 7.20 points, or 0.16%, to 4,558.40. The Bank of England is expected to leave rates unchanged at tomorrow's policy meeting. Amvescap was lower as Invesco Funds Group and AIM Investments, both owned by Amvescap, will pay a $450 million fine to settle allegations they allowed market timing fund trading. Dixons advanced on higher same-store sales.

Germany's DAX index lost 4.88 points, or 0.13%, to 3,884.16. Commerzbank was higher after Citigroup raised its recommendation of the bank's shares. SAP, the world's largest maker of business-management software, was also higher. Schering, the world's biggest maker of birth-control pills, was higher.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index was down 4.59 points, or 0.12%, to 3,677.55. Accor declined after reporting lower than expected earnings. Havas was higher after news that the company was considering a bid for U.S. advertising group Grey Global. But Vincent Bollore, a major Havas shareholder, is reported to be against a possible offer.

Asian markets finished lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 index eased 19.75 points, or 0.17%, to close at 11,279.19, with UFJ Holdings sinking 1.1% ahead of submitting a new restructuring proposal to regulators on Friday. Japan will also announce revised GDP data for the April-June quarter on Thursday. Semiconductor names slid after Lehman cut its sector weighting, with Tokyo Electron down 1.59% while Advantest lost 1.74%. But Softbank rose 0.41% on news that it would be included in the Nikkei average's 225 components.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 86.08 points, or 0.66%, to close at 13,049.96 with properties cooling off after rising in recent sessions on news that the government will auction another prime plot of land in October.

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