European shares pared losses to trade slightly higher, as gains in the energy sector partly offset a slump in travel stocks after the deadly attacks in Paris. But as Ivor Bennett reports, the euro also hit its weakest in more than six months against the yen as investors sought safety in gold and low-risk government debt.
Around the world, minds were focused on one thing. Traders at Frankfurt's stock exchange among those to hold a minute's silence for the victims of the Paris attacks. Baader Bank's Robert Halver summed up the mood. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKETS ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "France and us, we are Europe's engine. It hurts. And we all know the city of love - Paris, of course. But the French are French, and they will bounce back. I believe in the heraldic motto of Paris: 'Fluctuat nec mergitur', meaning , 'It wavers, but doesn't fall'." Stocks didn't waver for long though. The DAX, CAC and FTSE all bouncing back from early falls as investors quickly rallied. What losses there were, though, were severe. Eurotunnel, Air France and French hotel group Accor all down around 5 percent As tourism and travel bore the brunt of the fallout. The inevitable rush for safe havens also hit the euro, It fell to a 6-and-a-half month low against the yen, and close to that mark versus the dollar. But CCLA's James Bevan says the impact won't last long. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES BEVAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA, SAYING: "Experience from previous outrages around the world suggest that there will be a short term negative impact as people decline to visit in anticipation that they need to see what happens next. However, experience also demonstrates that over the long run, people get back to business as usual remarkably quickly." For now, at least, it is anything but. And as France retaliates, the ripple effect spreads. A wave of air strikes in Syria lifting oil prices off last week's six-year low. A rise of 1.5 percent making energy stocks the leading gainers.