European stocks pared losses an hour after the opening bell with London's benchmarks flat due to a hefty weighting toward gold and oil, while markets in Paris and Frankfurt also calmed.

U.S. futures were pointing to a modest fall when markets open, with Dow Jones Industrial Average mini down 0.06% and S&P mini futures were trading 0.10% lower.

Despite the bounce, tension continued to hang in the air as Russia began calling for a United Nations Security Council meeting, after already having described President Donald Trump's overnight attack on a Syrian airbase as a violation of international law and an "act of aggression."

London's FTSE 100 was broadly unchanged at 09.10 BST, quoted at 7,301, while the mid-market FTSE 250 index was up by 0.08% to 19,141.

In Frankfurt the DAX was down by 0.53%, quoted at 12,165, while the CAC 40 index was 0.33% lower at 5,104 in Paris. Benchmarks in Southern Europe, such as Madrid's IBEX and Milan's FTSE MIB, were both down by nearly 0.5%.

The spot price for gold was quoted at $1262.42, up 1.03%, while the European Brent crude oil benchmark was 1.51% higher at $55.72.

In individual stocks, London's biggest pure-play gold miner, Randgold (GOLD - Get Report) , was at the top of the FTSE 100 with a gain of 2.32% for the session.

However, retailer Tesco (TSCDY) , Sainsbury (JSAIY)  and life insurer Standard Life (SLFPF) also featured among the top risers, with gains of more than 2% each. Grocery retailers Sainsbury and Tesco both benefited from an upgrade at UBS (OUBSF) .  

BAE Systems (BAESY) and other defense stocks rose in response to the overnight strike in Syria. Additionally, Meggitt (MEGGF) , Chemring (CMGMF) , Cobham (CBHMF) and Rolls Royce (RYCEY) all posted gains in London.

In Frankfurt there were only three risers on the DAX just more than an hour into the session. Those were Deutsche Boerse (DBOEY) , Deutsche Bank (DB - Get Report) and Vonovia (VONOY) , all with gains of of less than 1%. Big fallers were Henkel (HENOY) , Merck (MKGAY) and Siemens (SIEGY) , all with losses of more than 1%.

In Paris, losses for the CAC 40 index were partially offset by gains at oil giant, Total (TOT - Get Report) , which saw its shares rise by 0.55% in response to the morning's news.

Nonetheless, losses of nearly 2% each at Carrefour (CRRFY) , ArcelorMittal (MT - Get Report) and Essilor Internat (ESLOF) dragged the index lower.