European stock markets finished higher. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was up 21 points, or 0.47%, to 4,489.7. The Bank of England, apparently worried about aborting the economic recovery, left interest rates unchanged despite some concerns about inflation that showed up in the 2.3% jump in March retail prices.
Germany's DAX index added 12.37 points, or 0.31%, to 4,013.53, despite a report German industrial production fell 0.7% in February. Investors were encouraged by earnings of some U.S. tech companies. Siemens was higher after Samsung raised its forecast for mobile phone sales this year. Infineon Technologies rose in sympathy with Dell's strong forecast.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index gained 5.55 points, or 0.15%, to 3,740.11.
Asian markets finished mixed on Thursday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index gained 72.97 points, or 0.61%, to close at 12,092.59. Retailers rose after Ito-Yokado Co. and Seven-Eleven Japan Co. forecast higher profits helped by cost cuts amid an increase in consumer spending.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 10.68 points, or 0.08%, to close at 12,909.37.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX rose 25.89 points, or 0.29%, to 8,8333.48.