European Stocks Sink

A decline in a key consumer sentiment gauge soured investor sentiment. Asian markets also ended with losses, with a key Japanese index hitting a 19-year low

European markets posted heavy losses Tuesday. Stocks opened lower in a carryover of Monday's decline, with weak economic news out of Italy, which is Europe's fourth largest economy, further damaging sentiment. Italian consumer confidence fell to 113.4 in August, its worst level in five years, from 114.3 in July. The news came in the wake of yesterday's much worse than expected results for EMU retail sales and the German purchasing managers index.

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