Europe Stocks Rise

The Nikkei and Hang Seng finish lower

European stock markets finished higher Wednesday.

London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was up 41.10 points, or 0.78%, to 5,296.90 as September Brent crude oil fell after U.S. said it would tap its emergency reserves to meet Hurricane Katrina demands.

Among stocks on the move, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rose after Morgan Stanley raised its iron ore price estimates because of increased Chinese demand. Alea Group Holdings fell after the company reported 47% drop in first half profits.

Germany's DAX index rose 37.97 points, or 0.79%, to 4,829.69. Besides lower oil prices, the market was also helped by a report showing the number of German unemployed fell, suggesting economic growth is recovering from a second-quarter slowdown.

Adidas-Salomon rose after UBS confirmed its buy recommendation for the stock. Hannover Re fell after the company said it may cut its 2005 profit forecast because of higher-than-forecast claims from hurricane Katrina.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index gained 42.70 points, or 0.98%, moving to 4,399.36. The number of French unemployed fell by 30,000 to 2.42 million and the jobless rate fell to 9.9%, the lowest since September 2003.

France Telecom fell after announcing a 3-billion euro share sale. Danone rose after JP Morgan raised its 12-month share price forecast. Alstom rose after CSFB raised its recommendation on the stock to outperform from neutral.

Asian markets finished lower on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 39.54 points, or 0.32%, to 12,413.60. Market sentiment was hurt by record-high oil prices and weak industrial production data locally.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 18.67 points, or 0.13%, to 14,903.55.