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Europe Stocks Fall

European stock markets closed mostly lower on Monday.

London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 1.60 points, or 0.03%, to 5,344.2 on bargain hunting. Homebuy Group was higher on strong annual earnings, while Marconi was higher after it said it held talks with European phone companies about a takeover.

Germany's DAX index fell 14.99 points, or 0.30%, to 4,922.34. Commerzbank was lower on news that CEO Klaus-Peter Mueller is being investigated by Frankfurt prosecutors in connection with a money-laundering investigation. Insurance and asset management group Allianz was up after Lehman Brothers raised its share price estimate.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 9.90 points, or 0.22%, to 4,466.58. Retailer Carrefour was higher even though the company denied a report that it was in takeover talks with Wal-Mart, and chemicals group Rhodia was lower after Credit Suisse First Boston reiterated its "underperform" rating on the stock.

Asian markets ended mixed Monday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 5.13 points, or 0.04%, to 12,256.55 as the market continued to consolidate recent gains and high oil prices raised concerns of an adverse impact on the global economy.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index closed up 15.11 points, or 0.10% to 15,466.06, boosted by gains in China Mobile and Bank Of China Hong Kong, according to Standard and Poor's MarketScope.

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