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Europe, U.S. Markets in Retreat

After a positive start to the day, all of Europe’s indexes ended the day down Tuesday, with U.S. indexes following suit.

After a positive start to the day, all of Europe’s indexes ended the day down Tuesday, with U.S. indexes following suit.

The CAC 40 in Paris dipped the most, and was down 0.9 percent to 3,469.59, while the FTSE MIB in Milan fell 0.7 percent to 16,498.73 and the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.6 percent to 5,869.55. The DAX in Frankfurt was flat at 7,078.90.

Earlier in the day, Asian markets finished their trading sessions on an upswing. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 2.4 percent to 10,255.15, while the Hang Seng Index rose 1.8 percent to 21,046.91.

A slight fall in consumer confidence in the U.S. in March, according to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, was said to be weighing on European stocks. This month’s rating was 70.2, compared to 71.6 in February.

And in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percent to 13,197.73, while the S&P Retail Index was essentially unchanged at 628.33. Wall Street fell from its four-year high over worries about inflation as rising gasoline prices weighed on their short-term outlook.

Fashion, luxury and retail stocks put in a mixed performance. Those that rose included Aeffe, up 3.3 percent to 93 cents, Hugo Boss, which gained 2.5 percent to $116.62 and Prada, which rose 3.2 percent to $6.24 on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index. All conversions to U.S. dollars are at current exchange.

Among the fallers were Yoox, which dipped 5.4 percent to $15.81, Beiersdorf, which fell 1 percent to $64.44 and French Connection, down 0.8 percent to 75 cents.

In the U.S., the top retail gainer was Bluefly Inc., up 5.3 percent to $1.80, followed by The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up 2.3 percent to $9.61. Among the day’s losers were Charming Shoppes Inc., down 7.2 percent to $5.41 even though it narrowed its fourth-quarter loss, and Francesca’s Holdings Corp., down 3.3 percent to $31.54.