Europe Stocks End Lower

The Nikkei rose, while the Hang Seng index fell

European stock markets closed lower on Wednesday.

London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 25 points, or 0.47%, to 5,275.2.

Germany's DAX index lost 1.79 points, or 0.04%, to 4,915.95.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index fell 12.13 points, or 0.27%, moving to 4,424.43.

Asian markets finished mixed Wednesday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 29.33 points, or 0.24%, to 12,502.26.

Banking issues led stocks in Tokyo higher on positive sentiment toward economic growth. Strength in the afternoon pushed the Nikkei 225 to close above 12,500 for the first time since July 2001. Lower volume and modest breadth reflect some concern the market may be due for a correction after recent gains, says Standard & Poor's MarketScope.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 100.04 points, or 0.67%, to 14,873.85.

The Hong Kong market was hurt by profit taking after recent strength. Losses in property shares such as Henderson Land and Sung Hung Kai Properties weighed on the Hang Seng index.

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