European markets enjoyed a slight rebound in early trading Wednesday, but closed mixed. Germany's DAX index was up 12.6 points, or 0.43%, at 2,922.55. Deutsche Lufthansa, Europe's third-largest airline, reported a loss of 360 million euros in its first quarter, saying that it expects a pre-tax loss this year. The company suffered from a slower economy, and travelers' concerns about severe acute respiratory syndrome, and the war in Iraq. The airline's first-quarter sales dipped 4.6 percent to 3.7 billion euros.
In France, the CAC 40 index closed down 0.06% at 2,961.83.
London's FTSE 100 index snuck past the 4,000 mark, but then slipped right back below on Wednesday, to close at 3,975.00, down 0.62%.
April labor data arrived in the U.K. Wednesday morning, and surprised analysts by showing unemployment claims falling.
Asian markets closed mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed
0.7% higher, at 8,244.91. Leading the Nikkei higher: Sony (SNE
), which surged 4.1% on news that the company would market a new handheld PlayStation game device by the end of next year. Phone giant NTT finished 1.6% higher.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index finished down 0.17% to 9,103.69.