In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.69 points, or 0.02%, to 3,530.91 on short covering. There was little reaction to a report that French consumer spending was unchanged in February after being revised higher in January. Some 20 CAC stocks were higher and 19 were lower on turnover of 39 million shares. Germany's DAX index slipped 0.41 points, or 0.01%, to 3,728.82 as some 17 DAX stocks were higher and 12 were lower on turnover of 46 million shares. There was little news to move market. KarstadtQuelle was lower after saying first quarter sales will decline as much as 5% because of sluggish consumer spending. There was a Finance Ministry report said Germany's economic recovery is export led.
In Asia, the equity markets finished mixed. The Nikkei 225 index fell 37.42 points, or 0.33%, to 11,281.09.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index advanced 37.45 points, or 0.30%, to 12,588.36.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 3.96 points, or 0.05%, to 8,474.52.