In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 37.10 to 5338.00, as the UK August Consumer Price Index climbed 0.4% primarily on the back of higher transportation costs from rising petrol pump prices. 85 FTSE stocks fell, and 13 rose on turnover of 1,347,000,000 shares. Major oil companies BP, BG, and Dragon Oil fell. Allergy Therapeutics rose as the company's fiscal full-year sales climbed 20%. British Energy Group fell after the electricity producer said shutdowns at its Hartlepool and Heysham nuclear reactors will be longer than planned. Cobham rose on a report the company is in talks to sell its countermeasures unit so that it can focus on higher-growth defense electronics businesses.
In Frankfurt, the DAX Index plunged 88.10 to 4901.88, as polls show support is growing for Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democratic party on Sept. 18. The opposition candidate Angela Merkle, believed to be more business friendly, is struggling in the campaign. 30 DAX stocks fell and none rose on turnover of 118,904,046 shares. Allianz fell after UBS cut its share-price estimate for company. EM.TV rose on a published report its sports-television channel could be sold. Porsche fell as full year revenue gains were less than expected. Epcos AG (EPC GY), the maker of electronic components, gained 2 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 10.60 euros. Fresenius rose as Merrill Lynch raised its recommendation on shares to "buy" from "neutral."
France's CAC 40 fell 38.41 to 4453.41, following a report that the French August Consumer Price Index rose a bit more than expected by 0.4% due to higher costs for clothing and shoes. 33 CAC stocks fell and 7 rose on turnover of 126,202,760 shares. Among major shares, Inter Parfume rose as the decline in first quarter earnings was less than expected. GFI Informatique fell on disappointing first half results. Hyparlo rose after Paris appeals court ruled Carrefour can bid for the 42.2% of the Hyparlo stock it doesn't already own. Lafarge fell after ING Group cut its rating on the stock to "hold" from "buy."
Stocks in Hong Kong tumbled in the afternoon on profit taking after recent gains. Profit taking also weighed on stocks in Seoul, Korea. Brokerages, which had enjoyed big gains recently on speculation that stock market strength would drive higher volume and thus higher earnings, suffered losses.
But the gloom didn't reach everywhere. The Japanese Nikkei 225 closed marginally higher at 12,901.95. Stocks were led by brokerages as a bright earnings outlook from Nikko Cordial boosted sentiment. Optimism toward economic growth contributed to stock market gains.