Asia Higher, Europe Lower

Asian stock markets were higher Wednesday as it tracked Wall Street's rally overnight; European markets fell as higher U.S. inflation data spooked investors

European stock markets were lower Wednesday. In London, the FTSE 100 lost 33.60 points, or 0.69%, to close at 4822.00. UK stocks ended lower as high U.S. consumer inflation data spooked investors, despite strong earnings reports from Intel, Yahoo! and Caterpillar. Gains from the mining and oil and gas sectors were offset by falls in Prudential, while Tesco, BAE Systems, and Old Mutual traded ex-dividend today. Prudential reported an 11% rise in first-quarter 2005 group APE sales to 478 million pounds, vs. 433 million pounds year-over-year, in line with expectations. The mining sector regained lost ground from earlier in the week on news China's GDP rose 9.5% in the year. Media group Reuters announced a -1.4% drop in first-quarter recurring revenue and saw second-quarter 2005 underlying recurring revenue charge likely to be close to zero. Allied Domecq's board met today and considered a 7.5 billion pound bid from rival Pernod Ricard. The UK drinks group reports quarterly earnings tomorrow.

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