In Germany, the DAX Index gained 17.18 points, or 0.51%, to 3,398.89 after the German cabinet approves tax cuts and welfare reductions in a bid to revive the economy and reduce unemployment. Schroeder said the economy might growth more than the 2% forecast for 2004. In France, the CAC 40 edged down 0.17 point to 3,208.6.
In Asia, major stock indexes finished higher. Japan's Nikkei index finished up 187.94 points, or 1.96%, to close at 9752.75. The positive effect of Tuesday's second-quarter GDP result -- up 2.3% annualized -- remained, plus players in Tokyo were encouraged by overnight gains on Wall Street as well as the Fed's statement suggested the Fed would not be in a hurry of raising interest rates. Major bank and tech stocks rallied.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 117.30 points, or 1.15%, to close at 10,301.47.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX rose 18.26 points, or 0.25%, to 7,372.28.