European stock markets closed mixed this evening as investors consolidated recent gains and waited for their next set of economic figures. Dealers said the markets finished off their lows as Wall Street steadied in late European trade.

In London, the FTSE ended up 0.2% at 5,019, led by energy companies as oil prices dipped. In Paris, the CAC slipped 0.1% to 3,731 and in Frankfurt, the DAX was down just under 0.1% at 5,620.

In Dublin, the ISEQ closed 16 points (0.5%) higher at 3,274. Bank shares were stronger, with Bank of Ireland up almost 5% to €2.84 and Irish Life & Permanent adding 2.5% to €5.62. But Ryanair dropped 3.2% to €3.43 and food group Glanbia lost 3% to €2.86.

On Wall Street, markets won back some ground after initial sharp falls due to an escalating trade dispute between the US and China. The Dow Jones was down 0.2% at 9,590, while the Nasdaq was unchanged at 2,080.

Japanese share prices closed down 2.3% at 10,202 earlier today as investors fretted about losses on Wall Street and a stronger yen, which is bad for exporters. The Hang Seng fell 1% to 20,932.