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European stock markets finished lower on Monday, but off their session lows. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index shed 11.5 points, or 0.25%, to 4,579.50 following reports British mortgage lending slowed in August and that U.K. Chancellor Gordon Brown is worried about global economic growth in 2005. Britain's budget deficit narrowed more than economists had expected in August.
Germany's DAX index fell 10.39 points, or 0.26%, to 3,977.68 as oil prices rose. Consumer goods maker Henkel was lower after Unilever cut its annual profit forecast. Infineon Technologies was lower after Samsung Electronics said it expects global chip sales next year to grow at half this year's pace.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 22.53 points, or 0.6%, to 3,703.69 on higher oil prices and Unilever's lower forecast. Danone was lower in reaction to Unilever's lower outlook.
In Asia, the markets finished lower on Monday. Japan's stock market was closed in observance of Respect for the Aged Day.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index eased 3.6 points, or 0.03%, to 13,221.33 with China plays trending higher after former Chinese president Jiang Zemin gave up the top job in China's military on Sunday and news that Beijing is considering implementing various market reforms to boost equity markets.