Europe Stocks End Mixed

The Nikkei fell while the Hang Seng edged up, in a consolidation of recent gains

European stock markets finished mixed on Friday.

London's FTSE 100 index was off 28.9 points, or 0.55%, to 5,230.8 on profit taking and higher oil prices.

Among stocks on the move, Amvescap fell amid management changes. Armor Group fell after the company cut its forecast for full year earnings. Baggeridge Brick fell after forecasting significantly lower earnings. Royal Bank of Scotland fell after Cazenove cut its rating on stock to underperform from in line. Bellhaven Group rose on improved earnings. Firestone Diamonds rose after agreeing to buy Hondeklip Bay Mine in South Africa from Trans Hex Group for $606,700.

Germany's DAX index rose 13.63 points, or 0.29%, to 4,712.9 in a carryover of the recent rally.

Deutsche Boerse rose amid speculation over the choices for the CEO position. Deutsche Lufthansa rose on a report that European Union regulators will delay for at least two months plans to put caps on pollution by airlines. Epcos rose after WestLB added the stock to its Mid and Small Cap Focus List. Softing rose after reporting higher second quarter earnings. Wincor Nixdorf fell after WestLB downgraded stock to outperform from buy.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index edged up 2.89 points, or 0.07%, to 4,373.77.

Autoroutes du Sud de la France rose on a report the government might sell the company directly to other companies. EADS rose after UBS raised its rating to buy from neutral.

Asian markets closed mixed on Friday, consolidating this week's gains.

In Japan, the Nikkei index edged down 5.58 points, or 0.05%, to 11,758.68, as a round of selling just before the market close erased much of the gains achieved during the day. This likely reflects some profit taking ahead of a three-day holiday weekend, says Standard & Poor's MarketScope.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 12.75 points, or 0.09%, to 14,504.29. CNOOC tumbled 4%, down for the second straight day, on talk of the company raising its offer for Unocal. This capped market gains. Utility issues rose as market participants sought shares that had been left behind in this week's rally.

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