European stock markets inched higher Wednesday supported by upbeat earnings, as investors paused for breath after the previous day's strong gains amid ongoing concern about the fallout from Ukraine.
Frankfurt's main DAX index gained 0.20 percent compared with Tuesday's close to end the day at 9,753.56 points.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index edged up 0.04 percent to 6,798.15 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 added 0.16 percent to 4,376.32.
"European equity markets edged slightly higher in today's trading session, while investors remained cautious after the strong rebound across equities and commodities yesterday," said Myrto Sokou at Sucden Financial.
Markets also took heart from news that Spain's economy grew at its strongest rate for six years in the second quarter of the year.
The news came after strong gains on Tuesday after news pro-Russian rebels had handed over the black boxes from the Malaysian passenger jet that came down in eastern Ukraine, killing almost 300 people.
Still, concern about the impact of the Ukraine crisis is continuing to weigh on consumer confidence in the eurozone, which retreated for the second month in a row, data showed on Wednesday.
"For the next few months, geopolitical tensions and concerns about the lack of sufficient pro-growth reforms in France will likely weigh further on eurozone indicators," said Holger Schmieding at Berenberg.
US stocks reflected the tepid mood trade as traders continued to fret about escalating tensions between Russia and the West while airlines extended bans on flights to Tel Aviv amid Gaza security concerns.
Wall Street investors also kept an eye on US earnings after strong results from Delta Airlines, Boeing and PepsiCo.
"The S&P 500 made another intraday all-time high despite a wobble from another airline crash in Taiwan while the Dow was showing some weakness in the face of decent earnings from Boeing trading mostly flat early on above 17,100," said Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets.
In mid-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.14 percent to 17,088.85.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.21 percent to 1,987.79, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.43 percent to 4,475.18.
- Europe earnings in focus -
In European corporate activity, Daimler shares closed down 0.77 percent after the world's third-biggest maker of luxury vehicles reported upbeat second-quarter earnings boosted by strong Mercedes sales.
French engineering group Alstom lost 0.18 percent after it reported sales and order figures which fit its strategy, controversial in France, of selling energy assets to focus on being a world leader in rail equipment.
Iberdrola shares gained 0.40 percent in Madrid despite the utility reporting a 13 percent drop in its first-half net profit to 1.5 billion euros due to cuts in renewable-energy subsidies.
And British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline plunged 4.73 percent after slashing its 2014 profits forecast as second-quarter earnings sank on the back of weak US trade, adverse currency moves and a Chinese bribery probe.
"China is one of the biggest growth area for pharmaceutical companies these days so the 20 percent drop in China sales after the bribery allegations have hit the company hard," said Lawler.
The European single currency hit an eight-month low at against the dollar at $1.3455 due to concerns about the impact on the eurozone economy of possible fresh sanctions against Russia following the downing of flight MH17.
It later recovered to $1.3463, compared with $1.3465 late in New York on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the pound drifted after the Bank of England said in minutes of its last meeting that policymakers had voted unanimously to keep its main interest rate at a record-low level of 0.50 percent.
The euro rose to 79.03 British pence from 78.90 on Tuesday. The pound dropped to $1.7035 from $1.7061.
The price of gold slid to $1,308 an ounce on the London Bullion Market compared with $1,310.25 on Tuesday.
Asian stock markets mostly closed higher on Wednesday.