European stocks finished generally lower. London's FTSE index was down 20.10 points to 3579.10, or a 0.56% drop, while Paris' CAC 40 index fell 24.40 points, or 0.87%, to 2772.26. In Frankfurt, the DAX index climbed 13.80 points, or 0.54% to 2,583.14, after a report that German industrial production in January posted its largest monthly drop in nearly four years -- the result of a slump in manufacturing and construction output.
In European company news, Roche Holding AG, the world's biggest medical-test maker, agreed to buy Disetronic Holding AG for $1.2 billion, gaining technology that may free diabetics from blood tests and shots, Bloomberg reported.
In Asia, stocks edged up. Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 36.77 points, or 0.44%, to 8,484.93, while Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng gained 81.19 points, or 0.89%, to 9,232.14.