European markets fell. In London, the FTSE-100 index lost 51.20 points, or 1.24%, to 4,071.00. The Bank of England expressed surprise at global economic weakness. Meantime, Prime Minister Blair is locked in a battle with U.K. firefighters over pay. Frankfurt's DAX was down 107.61 points, or 3.26%, to 3,191.63. The country's business climate index fell to 87.3 from 87.7 from October. Some believe the slide will pressure the European Central Bank to cut rates 50 basis points next week, while others say the drop in the index was not as bad as expected. The Paris CAC 40 index finished down 80.49 points, or 2.44%, at 3,215.19.
In Asia , stocks ended lower. After five winning sessions on the heels of better market sentiment in the U.S., investors in Japan took profits. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed off 120.45 points, or 1.35%, to 8,823.99. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index shed 105.25 points, or 1.04%, 9,995.52.