Europe Stocks Rise

Asian markets had another down day

European stock markets finished higher on Friday.

London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index rose 43.3 points, or 0.82%, to 5,312.6.

Among stocks on the move, Vodafone rose after the company purchased 20.5 million of its own shares at an average price of 150.7 pence. BAE Systems rose on FT story company looking to sell German marine electronics unit. O2 Plc rose as CSFB says Deutsche Telekom likely to produce single takeover bid for company. Royal Dutch Shell rose after the company said it bought back 2 million of its class A shares. Smith & Nephew rose on a report U.S. panel of advisers will review its newest hip implant device two months earlier than some analysts had expected.

Germany's DAX index went up 78.64 points, or 1.62%, to 4,929.91.

Commerzbank rose on speculation Royal Bank of Scotland Group may bid for the German lender. Orbis rose after the company posted a profit for the first half. Syzygy rose after company said second-quarter profit rose 19%. ThyssenKrupp rose after CSFB raised its recommendation on the company's shares to neutral from underperform. TUI fell on news the company plans to make an offer for U.K.-based CP Ships.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index gained 57.83 points, or 1.31%, moving to 4,487.9.

Sanofi-Aventis rose amid report company's Taxotere drug is more effective than Bristol Myers Squibb's Taxol in treating advanced cases of breast cancer. Group Danone rose on renewed rumors PepsiCo might make a takeover bid. Technip rose after Goldman Sachs said shares of the company may rise 15% through 2006.

Asian markets finished lower Friday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 15.64 points, or 0.13%, to 12,291.73. Basic materials plays such as Sumitomo Metal and Nippon Steel suffered losses. Profit taking after recent strength has hurt shares in this sector globally this week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index saw another sharp drop, finishing down 109.48 points, or 0.72%, to 15,038.61. For the week, the benchmark slid 2.7%, giving up all the gains accumulated during the past two weeks. The leading percentage laggard was China Unicom (-2.3%), while the top gainer was Lenovo (+1.7%).

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