as equity markets could not capitalize on market-friendly U.S. payrolls
data. The absence of earnings guidance from high-profile company EMC in the U.S.,
in addition to fears that a price war might emerge in the data-storage
business shed a negative light on high tech stocks. Interest-rate
sensitive stocks were also laggard performers as many market
participants are now assuming that the period of aggressive rate cuts
is over. Precious metals finished mixed, while crude futures climbed higher.
European markets finished lower. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index lost 36.90 points, or 0.66%, to 5,547.60. In France, the CAC 40 was down 57.41 points, or 1.13%, to 5,031.29. And in Germany, the DAX Index shed 41.40 points, or 0.72%, to 5,735.88.
Asia markets ended with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 index gave up early gains to close lower by 157.23 points, or 1.27%, to 12,241.97 as profit-takers sent shares lower in the afternoon. Transportation was the worst performing sector, following speculation by analysts that demand may flatten or decline in the second half of the year. Banks were hit hard by news of poor earnings, and a tepid response to plans aimed at hastening bad loan write-offs and restructuring. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 197.29 points, or 1.58%, to 12,269.08.