European stock markets finished higher. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index rose 21.3 points, or 0.48%, to 4,461.4 as Britain's December unemployment rate remained unchanged at a 28-year low of 3% and jobless claims fell.
In Paris, the CAC 40 added 36.37 points, or 1.02%, to 3,612.55 as the ECB's Noyer says economic growth is taking off. Germany's DAX index was up 58.99 points, or 1.48%, to 4,055.21 on hopes for an improved economy and earnings. Bonds were lower as consumer prices rose 0.8% in December.
Asian markets finished mixed Wednesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rose 13.32 points, or 0.12%, to 10,863. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 75.77 points, or 0.57%, to 13,320.88.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX added 23.43, or 0.28%, to 8,403.77.