Europe Closes Lower

European stock markets were lower Wednesday following as oil prices surged on U.S. inventory reports

European stock markets were lower on Wednesday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 27.30 points to 5019.50 following reports unemployment rose 13,200 but the rate remained unchanged at 2.7% and earnings rose to 4.6% from 4.5% in April. 68 FTSE stocks fell, 29 rose on turnover of 1,608,000,000 shares. Yields on 10-year gilts surged to 4.38% from 4.32% yesterday. Sterling rose to $1.8232 as the dollar came under attack. July Brent crude oil futures surged in the wake of U.S. inventory data. The commodities market ignored the OPEC agreement to raise output. BHP, Rio Tinto, and Xstrata rose on a report China's industrial output climbed in May. Persimmon and Taylor Woodrow fell after Numis Securities lowered its rating on stocks to "reduce" from "add". Cambridge Mineral Resources rose on news of "important" gold discovery in Bulgaria.

Germany's DAX Index fell 43.27 points to 4548.42 as oil prices surged on U.S. inventory reports and speculation there would be winter shortages. 25 DAX stocks fell and 4 rose on turnover of 135,105,000 shares. Yields on 10-year Bunds rose to 3.29% from 3.20% yesterday in heavy trading. The euro rose to $1.2102. Infineon Technologies fell amid talk of lighter demand for electronic products in Europe. KarstadtQuelle surged on report majority stockholder Madeline Schickedanz bought 2.6 million euros worth of its stock. HVB Group rose for second day on takeover offer from Italy's UniCredito Italiano. Linde rose on speculation company might spin off a division.

In France, the CAC 40 slipped 13.38 points to 4184.36. 24. CAC stocks fell, 13 rose on turnover of 115,436,000 shares. Yields of 10-year bonds rose to 3.29% from 3.20% yesterday. Alain Afflelou fell company reported lower fourth quarter sales. Infogrames Entertainment rose after company said its full year loss would narrow from last year's loss. Metrologic Group rose after company said Boeing will us its quality control software for its 787 aircraft. EADS fell as oil prices surged. Remy Cointreau rose after Dresdner raised its rating on the stock to "add" from "hold."

Asian markets were lower mixed on Wednesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 79.96 points, or 0.71%, to 11,415.88. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed above 11,400 for the first time in two months. The broader TOPIX index rose 7.90 points to 1,158.23, matching the Nikkei's 0.7% gain. Continued dollar strength and stock gains on Wall Street yesterday boosted sentiment. Major banking issues led the market higher. Exporters were also strong.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng eased 9.49 points, or 0.07%, to 13,914.30. Stocks in Hong Kong were unable to match strength elsewhere in Asia. Breadth was 15-12 positive. Volume was moderate. Banking issues HSBC Holdings and Hang Seng Bank were among the best performers.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P gains 43.72 points, or 0.44%, to close at 9,866.57.

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