European markets finished mostly higher on hopes that an Iraq war may be delayed. In London, the FTSE 100 index finished up 29.10 points, or 0.80%, to 3,684.70, though reports of U.K. manufacturing contraction and a rise in Halifax housing prices dampened sentiment. In Paris, the CAC 40 index finished up 8.18 points, or 0.30%, to 2,762.25. In Frankfurt, the DAX index finished up 2.60 points, or 0.10%, to 2,549.65, amid data that German PMI rose to 49.9 in February from 48.3 in January.
In Asia, stocks finished higher with help from strong performances in shares of exporters like Toyota. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index advanced 127.36 points, or 1.52%, to close at 8,490.40. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index added 146.11 points, or 1.60%, to close at 9,268.77.