Global Markets Mixed Thursday

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Global markets were mixed on Thursday. European stocks were higher while Chinese markets finished with loses after the U.S. Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 7,539.81 while France's CAC 40 gained 0.6 percent to 5,514.52. Germany's DAX advanced 0.4 percent to 13,238.47. Futures augured a tepid start on Wall Street with Dow futures up less than 0.1 percent and S&P futures up 0.2 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets finished mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.7 percent to 23,486.11 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.1 percent to 2,568.54. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.8 percent to 32,642.09 and China's Shanghai Composite Index sank 1 percent to 3,446.98. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9 percent to 6,090.10. Stocks in Southeast Asia were higher.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Fed Chair Janet Yellen's last meeting prior to stepping down saw the Fed reinforcing their positive outlook over both the economy and inflation while unanimously voting to keep rates unchanged," Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a daily commentary.

FED RATE: The Fed kept its key rate in a still-low range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent and said in a statement that it expects inflation to finally pick up this year, stabilizing around the Fed's target level of 2 percent. The Fed also indicated that it thinks the job market and the overall economy are continuing to improve.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 48 cents to $65.21 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 23 cents to settle at $64.73 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 49 cents to $69.38 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.57 yen from 109.20 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.2443 from $1.2411.

(BE)