Although airlines such as the U.K.'s EasyJet (EJTTF) and International Consolidated Airlines (ICAGY) were among the sharpest risers, following yesterday's dip in confidence over the Germanwings air disaster, oil prices and oil stocks fell back despite ongoing clashes between Saudi troops and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
French consumers provided a small boost to the Paris market. The French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies index showed consumer confidence rose one point to 93 in March -- its best level in over four years.
In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.17% at 6,883.88, while in Paris, the CAC40 was up 0.43% at 5,027.77. In Frankfurt the DAX was up 0.31% at 11,880.94.
Swiss-listed luxury goods group Cie. Financière Richemont was up 0.44% at Sfr79.85 on rumors that Amazon (AMZN) - Get Reportis in talks to buy its London-based online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter at a price some reports suggest could be around $2 billion.
In London, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - Get Report slipped 1.48% to 345.10 pence after confirming the sale of Coutts International, its internationally managed private banking wealth management business, to Switzerland's Union Bancaire Privée. The price has yet to be fixed, but the Financial Times said UBP was expected to pay between $600 million and $800 million. RBS said the unit would be treated as a disposal group in its first quarter results for 2015 and result in a charge of around £200 million ($300 million) mostly as a goodwill write-off.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.95% to 19,285.63 as Japan's efforts to revive inflation continued to stall, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng closed down by just 0.04% at 24,486.20. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.24% at 3,691.10.