LONDON ( The Deal) -- The Federal Reserve's surprise retreat Wednesday from the brink of monetary tightening unleashed a wave of euphoria across stock markets in Asia and Europe Thursday. The Fed unexpectedly decided to avoid a so-called taper on its monthly bond repurchases, maintaining the level at $85 billion, amid signs the U.S. economy still requires central bank support. ATVI) gaming affiliate. The court ruled a share $2.34 billion purchase from Vivendi by a group led by Activision co-Chairman Brian Kelly and CEO Bobby Kotick must be cleared by shareholders other than Vivendi. The Vivendi plan also includes selling back to Activision another $5.83 billion of stock. Vivendi shares in Paris slipped €0.05 (6.8 cents) to €17.405 as investors bet that the deal will eventually go through after a delay. ING) offered more information about its long-awaited, European Commission-mandated splitoff of European insurance unit from its banking activities. It said it may conduct this through a partial spinoff in 2014, rather than via a straight IP0. Its shares edged up €0.038, or 0.42%, to €9.023. In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 260.82, or 1.80%, at 14,766.18 and the Hang Seng gained 385.06, or 1.67%, to close at 23,502.51. Standard & Poor's futures edged up 0.31% at 1,723.10.