Europe Stocks End Higher

Asia's markets also rally

European stock markets closed higher. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 was up 29.20 points, or 0.56%, to 5242.40 on news OPEC has agreed to cut production by 1.5 million barrels a day.

In Germany, the DAX index gained 42.97 points, or 0.84%, to 5,160.10 after the IW Institute forecast Germany's economy will be stronger than many expect next year. But a newspaper report says the government may have to borrow more than anticipated next year.

France's CAC 40 index advanced 33.42 points, or 0.73%, to 4624.58, even though the French November unemployment rate rose to a 12-month high 9% from 8.9% in October.

In Asia, stocks rallied. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 85.01 points, or 0.81%, to 10,542.62 on the last trading day of the year. Stocks climbed on the back of improved sentiment in the bank sector as Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said that he is willing to inject more public funds into banks to prevent an economic crisis. An influx of buy-orders for window-dressing at the end of the year also boosted the market. For all of 2001, the Nikkei posted a loss of 23.5%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 72.09 points, or 0.63% to 11,421.59.

Canada's stock market gained 24.42 points, or 0.32%, to 7675.00.

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