11am Markets Update

Updated: Friday 19 December 2014 11.15

European markets were mixed this morning as investors continued to cheer US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen comments that US interest rates were unlikely to rise for "at least a couple of meetings" - meaning April at the earliest.

London's FTSE had gained 28 points (0.4%) to stand at 6,494 by 11am, while the Frankfurt DAX edged nine points (0.09%) higher to 9,819 and the Paris CAC dipped a point (0.03%) to trade at 4,248.

Dublin's ISEQ index inched two points (0.05%) lower to stand at 5,155. Shares in Aer Lingus rose another 1.7% to €2.02 after its 9% gain yesterday as it emerged that it has rejected an approach from International Consolidated Airlines Group over the last few days. Smurfit Kappa shares were up 1.7% to €17.80 while Providence Resources rose 2.3% to stand at 81 cent.

Earlier in Asian trade, Tokyo's Nikkei index gained 411 points (2.4%) to close at 17,621  following sharp gains on Wall Street while the dollar's strength also provided support. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 284 points (1.2%) to finish at 23,117.

US stocks surged last night on Wall Street for the second day in a row following Wednesday's Federal Reserve meeting as investors brushed aside concerns about another drop in oil prices. 

The Dow Jones soared 421 points (2.4%) to end at 17,778, while the broad-based S&P 500 shot up 48 points (2.4%) to close at 2,061 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 104 (2.2%) to finish at 4,748. The gains marked the second day in a row the S&P 500 has risen over 2% - such a two-day streak has not happened since 2002.