Europe Stocks Finish Higher

Asian stocks fall

European stock markets finished somewhat higher on Friday. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index added 12.5 points, or 0.28%, to end at 4,505.8, as the May budget deficit narrowed and U.K. Mortgage lending skidded in May across Britain. BP and Shell gained as August Brent crude oil futures rose on worries over Iraq oil production and a Norwegian oil worker strike.

In Paris, the CAC 40 ended up 22.82 points, or 0.61%, at 3,740.9. Germany's DAX index gained 14.33 points, or 0.36%, to 3,999.79, despite earlier worries that higher oil prices will further hamper economic recovery. Traders showed a muted reaction to reports that German producer prices rose 0.5% in May, reports Standard & Poor's MarketScope.

Asian stock markets finished lower, after an industry trade group reported a weak book-to-bill for the North American chip equipment industry in May, according to Standard & Poor's MarketScope. Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 225.82 points, or 1.95%, to 11,382.08, with tech stocks taking a beating after declines in their U.S. counterparts.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 1.88%, or 227.31 points, to finish at 11,855.55. The index suffered from sharp losses in China plays, while interest rate hike concerns, as well as angst that China may take more tightening measures, continue to weigh on sentiment.

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