session high bodes well for Friday's open, says Standard & Poor's.
European markets ended higher after the U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged. French telecom gear maker Alcatel led gains. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index ended up 75.50 points, or 1.48%, to 5,164.80. In France, the Paris CAC 40 finished higher by 54.60 points, or 1.24%, to 4,461.87. Germany's DAX index gained 55.41 points, or 1.10%, to 5,107.61.
Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 78.32 points, or 0.79%, to 9,997.80. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dived 31.66 points, or 0.29%, to 10,725.30.