European markets ended mixed Thursday after a surprise rate cut from the Bank of England. The easing of 25 basis points brings the key official interest rate to 5%. In London, the Financial Times 100 Index closed higher by 37.60 points, or 0.68%, to 5,584.50. European stocks rallied at first, even though the European Central Bank did not follow with its own rate cut, but gains turned to losses in late trading in Germany and France. France's CAC 40 Index ended off 23.78 points, or 0.47%, to 5,088.70. Germany's DAX Index lost 64.98 points, or 1.11%, to 5,770.25.
Asian markets ended Thursday's session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index soared 439.87 points, or 3.68%, to close at 12,399.20. The Nikkei rally was helped by buying interest from pension funds, which had unloaded holdings recently because of the declining market. Chipmakers and related shares led the gains. However, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 12.37, or 0.10% points, to close at 12,466.37.