European stocks finished lower, led by losses in Alcatel, which said sales may drop as much as 30% this quarter. In London, the FTSE index finished off 99.30 points, or 2.69%, to 3,590.10, as U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair attempts to persuade French President Jacques Chirac to remove his opposition to disarming Iraq by force. Paris' CAC-40 index finished down 94.29 points, or 3.19%, to 2,863.50. In Frankfurt, the DAX index fell 119.01 points, or 4.32%, to 2,632.98.
In Asia , stocks finished slightly lower ahead of Powell's brief Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 15.89 points, or 0.19%, to 8,484.90. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng lost 6.24 points, or 0.07%, to 9,252.71.