European bourses traded mixed early Thursday but their Asian counterparts closed with big gains spurred by the credit-easing steps by leading central banks. Investors in Europe were expected to follow the Asian rally in the wake of the 490-point Dow Jones close Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, but that was not to be. Britain\'s FTSE 100 was showing strength, rising 0.52 percent to 5,534 early Thursday, but Germany\'s DAX was down 0.31 percent to 6,070 and France\'s CAC-40 was off 0.33 percent to 3,144. Asian markets didn\'t look back after the start bell as investors kept buying on the strength of Wednesday\'s announcement by the U.S. Federal Reserve and central banks of five other nations to cut rates to make it easier for banks everywhere to borrow U.S. dollars and ease their credit crunch. Separately China\'s central bank lowered banks\' reserve requirement ratio by 0.5 percentage point, the first such cut in three years, to boost the banking system\'s liquidity. Tokyo\'s Nikkei 225 index set the Asian tone, gaining 163 points, or 1.93 percent, to close at 8,597 points. South Korea\'s Kospi surged 69 points, or 3.7 percent, to end the day at 1,916. Hong Kong\'s Hang Seng Index soared 1,013 points, or 5.6 percent, to 19,002 while China\'s Shanghai Composite Index tacked on 54 points, or 2.29 percent, to 2,387. Australia\'s All Ordinaries advanced 103 points, or 2.47 percent, to 4,288, near its intraday high. Markets in Singapore, Taiwan and India also closed with impressive gains. In currencies, the euro stood at about $1.35 after topping $1.34 Wednesday following a coordinated move by the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada and Swiss National Bank to cut by about half the cost for non-U.S. banks to borrow U.S. dollars from their central banks, which in turn get those dollars from the Fed. The central banks said the cheap U.S. dollar loans would be available until February 2013, extending a previous August 2012 deadline. The synchronized action didn\'t directly address Europe\'s government-debt and budget crises but sought to ease the effects of the crises on global markets, The Wall Street Journal said. The move also highlights the possibility of other central-bank steps if markets or the global economy deteriorate, the Journal said.