Germany's DAX index lost 10.61 points, or 0.27%, to 3,902.72. In Paris, the CAC 40 index fell 27.34 points, or 0.74%, to 3,652.03 following reports French consumer confidence fell to 3-month low in May, while April unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.8%.
Asian markets finished higher. In Japan, the Nikkei index rose 143.54 points, or 1.29%, to 11,309.57, cheered by a series of strong economic data. Banks and retailers trended higher on news that household spending rose, while tech stocks climbed following a record year-over-year rise in industrial output of 8.5% in April. Average spending by Japanese wage earner households rose a real 7.2% year-over-year in April, while nationwide core CPI fell 0.2% year-over-year. Japan's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 4.7% last month, unchanged from March.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 132.97 points, or 1.11%, to 12,116.87. China plays led advances as worries about economic overheating in the country subside, says Standard & Poor's MarketScope. Property names extended gains on optimism for price increases in Hong Kong's housing market following a successful public land auction early this week.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX rose 18.42 points, or 0.22%, to 8,362.02.