European stock markets were subdued on Wednesday, as investors tracked news from Ukraine and shrugged off gains in Asia and on Wall Street, dealers said.
In midday deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.08 percent to 6,828.64 points.
On the downside, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index shed 0.06 percent to 9,582.72 points compared with Tuesday's close, while the Paris CAC 40 lost 0.07 percent to 4,390.59 as investors digested the formation of a new French government.
"Traders are sitting on their hands as they await further developments from the Ukrainian situation," said analyst David Madden at trading firm IG.
"Reports suggest that relations between Kiev and Moscow are improving but traders are not rushing out to buy stocks just yet."
- Eurozone bond yields fall -
Kiev said a convoy of tanks and heavy weapons from Russia was travelling towards a government-held town in restive east Ukraine.
The news came as talks between the leaders of Russia and Ukraine apparently failed to make a major breakthrough towards ending fighting in east Ukraine, as strongman Vladimir Putin played down the entry by his troops into the former Soviet state.
Eurozone bond yields fell to new record low levels, pushed down by a belief that the European Central Bank may adopt quantitative easing to inject funds into the economy and ward off deflation.
Meanwhile, analysts welcomed the surprise appointment in a new government in France of former investment banker Emmanuel Macron as economy minister, as a signal that President Francois Hollande is determined to enact deadlocked economic reforms.
On Tuesday, Europe's equities had jumped higher, following comments from the head of the European Central Bank last week.
"Eurozone stocks have pulled back a bit this morning as the excitement about additional easing from the ECB has cooled off, but with the next interest rate decision a little over a week away, we could be looking at another rally before the week is out," added analyst Madden.
In foreign exchange activity on Wednesday, the European single currency rose to $1.3181 from $1.3169 late in New York on Tuesday.
The euro eased to 79.52 pence from 79.60 pence late in New York on Tuesday, while the pound edged up to $1.6575 from $1.6544.
The price of gold meanwhile fell to $1,284.86 an ounce, from $1,286 on Tuesday on the London Bullion Market.
Asian markets mostly ticked higher Wednesday following another record close on Wall Street as investors welcomed more upbeat data indicating the US economy is back on track.
Tokyo ended marginally stronger, Sydney gained 0.24 percent and Seoul added 0.33 percent.
Shanghai stocks put on 0.11 percent but Hong Kong closed 0.62 percent lower after hitting a six-year high on Monday.
- Wall Street jumps -
New York stocks jumped anew Tuesday after the Conference Board said consumer confidence rose in August for a fourth straight month, to its strongest level since February 2008. Also, durable goods orders surged in July to a new monthly record.
The news sent the S&P 500 up 0.11 percent to 2,000.02, ending above the 2,000 benchmark for the first time.
The Dow rose 0.17 percent to 17,106.70 points, just shy of a record high touched intra-day, while the Nasdaq added 0.29 percent.