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Canada Shares Make Strong Gains

Canada's benchmark TSE 300 spent the day in positive territory and closed up a healthy 99.7 points to 7648.5. Wednesday's recovery and another strong day for the U.S. indices boded well. The break above 7,626 and close at the

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.

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