Europe Markets End Mixed

Asia stocks finish lower

European stock markets closed mixed on Tuesday. London's FTSE 100 index was off 6.30 points, or 0.14%, to 4,512.40 U.K. consumer confidence tumbled to -4 in June from -2 in May, putting the confidence index at its lowest level since December. Analysts had predicted a reading of -2. Anglo American, Antofagasta, and Rio Tinto were lower on fears of weakening commodity demand in China. Gallaher was lower on difficult trading conditions in Continental Europe.

Germany's DAX index gained 0.38 points, or 0.01%, to 4,069.73 as the IWH Institute raised its German 2004 growth forecast to 1.8% and predicted similar growth in 2005. German builders are hoping to end their slump next year. Lufthansa was higher as it plans to bid for a 1 billion euro NATO contract together with EADS, which was also higher.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index eased 15.10 points, or 0.40%, to 3,756.48 even though French Business Confidence rose to a three-year high in June. But factory prices rose for a fifth consecutive month due to high oil prices. Axa, Credit Agricole, and Societe Generale were lower on higher rate worries. France Telecom was higher on a report that it will buy the rest of Wanadoo shares it does not own.

Asian markets finished lower on Tuesday. In Japan, the Nikkei index lost 23.25 points, or 0.20%, to close at 11,860.81 as investors sold recent gainers on dampened sentiment over disappointing industrial output data. Industrial production rose 0.5% in May from April, which was sharply below expectations of around 2.5%. Separately, the jobless rate fell to 4.6% in May, its lowest level since August, 2000, from 4.7% in April.

Tech names mirrored losses in U.S. peers in the Monday session, with Fujitsu down 0.9% while Advantest slipped 1.23%. But shares of Mitsubishi Motors surged over 6.43% on news that it planned to raise its financial rescue package to up to 546 billion yen from 450 billion yen, with JP Morgan Chase investing an extra 50 billion yen.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gave up 78.30 points, or 0.64%, to close at 12,116.30, mirroring losses on Wall Street overnight. Standard Chartered shares traded almost flat after it said on Monday that it bought Hong Kong lender Advantage for HK$980 million. S&P Ratings revised the outlook on Hong Kong's long-term local currency rating to stable from negative as the economy improves.

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