European markets finished lower ahead of England's election for prime minister on Thursday. The Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate at 5.25% today as evidence grows that the world's fourth-largest economy is picking up steam. Improving unemployment in Euroland is also on the front page Wednesday. The Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index ended down 21.00 points, or 0.35%, to 5,901.50. In Germany, the DAX Index lost 49.69 points, or 0.80%, to 6,192.44. In France, the CAC 40 finished off 19.78 points, or 0.36%, to 5,496.49.
In Asia, markets finished mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 7.16 points, or 0.05%, to 13,174.84. In Hong Kong, the market added 124.14 points, or 0.92%, to 13,576.01.