Europe Markets End Lower

Asia markets finish sharply lower; Canada shares finish with losses

European stock markets ended with steep losses amid concern about higher interest rates in the U.S., high crude oil prices, and the continuing conflict in Iraq. London's FTSE 100 index was off 103.2 points, or 2.29%, to 4,395.2.

Germany's DAX index fell 111.03 points, or 2.85%, to 3,784.61. In Paris, the CAC 40 index was down 99.83 points, or 2.73%, to 3,553.35.

Asian markets finished sharply lower. In Japan, the Nikkei index plunged 554.12 points, or 4.84%, to 10,884.7, dragged down by worries over U.S. interest rates. Sony (SNE ), which derives more than 25% of total sales from the U.S., sank 3.83%, while NTT DoCoMo lost 13.43% after it said operating profit may tumble 25% this year. Financial names such as Mizuho Financial (-9.31%) trended lower on rate concerns, while steel names sank on worries about a slowdown in profit growth after China said it will impose price controls on local governments to curb inflation.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 425.26 points, or 3.57%, to 11,485.5. Market sentiment was hurt by rate-hike worries as well as concerns over rising oil prices and global security.

Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX dropped 145.30, or 1.76%, to 8,129.49.