Simon Kennedy
Dow Jones
February 22, 2011

European stock markets ended lower Tuesday, extending the previous session’s heavy losses as turmoil in Libya escalated and crude-oil prices extended their rise.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index shed 0.6% to close at 285.38.

The pullback also came on the heels of sharp losses for Asian markets, where a major earthquake in New Zealand and a move by Moody’s Investors Service to lower the outlook on Japan’s Aa2 rating to negative from stable also weighed on markets.

U.S. stocks were under pressure after U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

In Libya, clashes between security forces and protesters continued.

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