Europe Stocks Rise

The major indexes in Japan and Hong Kong fall

European stock markets closed higher on Tuesday. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was up 37.9 points, or 0.88%, to 4,324.4 as Prudential, Britain's second-biggest insurer, was higher as second-quarter earnings rose from the year-earlier period. Aviva and Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group were also higher. Glaxo was higher after second-quarter profits were higher than expected.

Germany's DAX index added 61.49 points, or 1.64%, to 3,814.08 as Munich Re, which fell to a 14-month low yesterday, was higher in short covering and bargain hunting. Allianz and Hanover Re were also higher. DAB Bank rose after saying second quarter profit rose 47%. Merck KgaA was lower after net income rose to 363 million euros, less than 365 million expected. Puma gained after second quarter earnings per share rose 48%.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index advanced 32.49 points, or 0.92%, to 3,565.1, as PSA Peugeot Citroen was higher after saying its first half profit decline was less than expected. France Telecom, a loser in the previous 4 sessions, was up on short covering, after reporting its first half operating profit rose 14%. Alten was higher after saying its first half sales rose 17%. Imerys rose after its second-quarter earnings rose 17%.

Asian markets finished lower on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 128.01 points, or 1.15%, to close at 11,1031.54, led lower by tech stocks. Selling was fueled by continued concerns over a gloomy sector outlook. Computer-related stocks trended lower, with Advantest down 3.59%, while Tokyo Electron dropped 2.97%. Honda Motor fell 1.37% despite posting a 9.5% year-over-year rise in global car output in June. UFJ Holdings edged up 0.67% after the Financial Times reported that Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group is likely to ask other Mitsubishi group firms to join a bailout of beleaguered bank UFJ Holdings.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index eased 18.51 points, or 0.15%, to close at 12,301.32, helped by gains in property stocks on hopes that housing prices and rents will rise.

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