Europe Markets End Lower

Asia stocks finish with losses

European stock markets closed lower on Thursday. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was off 5.40 points, or 0.12%, to 4,629.40 as the British Chamber of Commerce said a measure of third-quarter UK manufacturing and services confidence fell. Air carriers British Airways and Ryanair were lower on higher oil prices. Centrica was lower after Morgan Stanley lowered its recommendation on stock to equal weight from overweight.

Germany's DAX index was off 35.57 points, or 0.89%, to 3,940.46 in reaction to higher oil prices and lower third-quarter European Monetary Union GDP growth. BASF and Bayer were lower on higher oil prices. DaimlerChrysler was lower after General Motors announced it was laying off 12,000 in Europe.

France's CAC-40 index was down 29.37 points, or 0.80%, to 3,664.95 on higher oil prices and lower third-quarter EMU GDP growth. LVMH was lower even though sales were in line with forecasts.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei average lost 161.70 points, or 1.44%, to 11,034.29 as Asian markets trended lower on high oil-price woes and as a plunge in metal prices pressured regional metal stocks lower. The Nikkei average was led lower by techs and energy-related stocks. Chip-related stocks declined, with Advantest ending 1.6% weaker while Tokyo Electron shed 0.5%. High oil prices pushed Asian refiners lower, with Japan's biggest refiner, Nippon Oil, dropping 3.93%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 136.20 points, or 1.03%, to close at 13,035.38 with properties, financials, and utilities leading the decline.

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