Even as Asian markets as a whole underachieved during the first half of 2004, Japanese stocks were the best to invest in among mutual funds sold in France, according to fund tracking firm Lipper.

Following a solid June in which Japanese stocks returned an average of 6.4%, the country's total return for the past six months reached 15.61%, according to the research company.

China funds fell almost 2% for the month, and have fallen 12.87% over the year's first six months. The fear that China may quickly slow up its economy created fears throughout the rest of Asia, as well, as Taiwan fell 4.11% in June.

While India's political instability spurned a 10.85% six-month drop, most European equity funds performed well. France itself returned 7.03%, while Norway moved up 4.49%.

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