Europe, Asia Lower

European stock markets were lower Tuesday on a wider-than-expected U.S. trade deficit figure

European stock markets were lower Tuesday. In London, the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 lost 27.00 points, or 0.54%, to close at 4946.20. The FTSE extended losses as U.S. stocks fell on concerns over the widening trade deficit. Supermarket giant Tesco reported fiscal 2004/2005 pretax profits of 2.029 billion pounds with fiscal year group sales rising 12.4% to 37.1 billion pounds. The result was largely in line with expectations but analysts raised a question mark over the long-term margin outlook. Marks & Spencer gained on expectations fiscal 2004/2005 pretax profits will be in the range of 610 million pounds to 625 million pounds, in line with forecasts. But RBS fell on reports it will pay up to $4 billion for a 15% to 20% stake in Bank of China. Among media stocks, Reed Elsevier dropped after its LexisNexis division said the Seisint unit fraud review unearthed 59 incidents where unauthorised persons may have fraudulently acquired personal ID information on a total of 310,000 U.S. individuals. WPP was out of favour after French peer TF1 was downgraded by CSFB on advertising revenue concerns. In the telecoms sector, O2 and Vodafone suffered from news that they are to be called before the EU Commission to answer questions about overcharging.

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