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European stock markets were higher. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index gained 35.2 points, or 0.83%, to 4,300.9 as Britain's consumer confidence remained unchanged at negative 3 in October. Bonds fell on the perception that the Bank of England will raise rates at next week's policy meeting to stabilize the rising economy.
In Paris, the CAC 40 was up 20.41 points, or 0.61%, to 3,387.36, as French consumer confidence rose to an 8-month high in October. Alcatel was lower after saying third-quarter sales fell 13%. Aventis also fell after reporting that sales of its antihistamine Allegra declined 17% in the third quarter.
Germany's DAX index rose 28.51 points, or 0.79%, to 3,643.93. In economic news, German consumer confidence stalled amid concerns government's pension reforms will cause shoppers to curtail purchases.
Asian markets finished mixed Thursday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index fell 43.66 points, or 0.41%, to 10,695.56. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 12.84 points, or 0.11%, to 12,143.35.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX rose 8.93 points, or 0.12%, to 7,939.41.