European stock markets finished mixed. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 4.1 points, or 0.09%, to 4,331.3 on some profit taking. Investors were weighing Chancellor of Exchequer Brown's comments that Britain's economic growth is getting more balanced, that inflation and interest rates will remain low, and that he will not rule out another tax increase.
In Paris, the CAC 40 was up 29.05 points, or 0.84%, to 3,467.9 as Bank of France indicators shows the economy in the fourth quarter is exected to grow at a 0.5% rate. Germany's DAX index was up 37.93 points, or 0.99%, to 3,858.85 even though car sales fell. Some traders were encouraged that German November CPI rose only 0.2%. Exporters were a bit encouraged that the euro was lower at $1.2263 vs. the dollar after the recent surge to a record high.
Asian markets finished higher Thursday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rose 164.58 points, or 1.66%, to 10,075.14. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index advanced 156.2 points, or 1.26%, to 12,554.58.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX rose 69.06 points, or 0.88%, to 7,956.18.