Europe Stocks Rise

Asian indexes lost ground over lingering economic concerns

European stock markets closed higher on Friday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange gained 5.60 points, or 0.12%, to close at 4694.00. There was little to kickstart the market following Centrica's downbeat trading outlook this morning. Centrica said operating margins are now expected to be lower than previously anticipated in British Gas, Centrica Business Services and Industrial and Wholesale. However, it said 2004 earnings are expected to be in line with expectations. HSBC reported its performance in the third quarter of 2004 was satisfactory, but said the outlook into 2005 remains challenging.

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