Global stocks were mixed overnight with investors cautious about the instability an attack on Syria may bring to the greater Middle East region.
European stocks dropped to the lowest level in six weeks as concern grew that the U.S. looked more likely to take military action against Syria.
This drop was driven by news that the U.S. and its allies are already working to define goals for a military strike against Syria, according to a U.S. administration official.
The Stoxx 600 Index lost 0.4% to 297.9 at the close of trading, its lowest level since July 17. In London, the FTSE 100 shed 11 points (-0.2%) to settle at 6430 while the German DAX slumped by 85 points (-1%) to close the trading session at 8158.
Across the Atlantic U.S. stocks rose, with the S&P 500 rebounding from an eight-week low, as energy shares rallied after a spike in oil prices in the previous session.
Oil climbed to a two-year high on concern that the conflict in Syria may spread and threaten oil supplies from the Middle East giving the U.S. markets a much needed spark after tumbling in the previous session.
The S&P 500 rose by four points (+0.3%) to finish trading at 1635 while the blue-chip Dow advanced by 48 points (+0.3%) to sit at 14825 at the end of trading.
In the commodity markets, gold declined from a three-month high in New York as a stronger dollar crimped demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.
Bullion futures for December delivery fell 0.1% to settle at $1,418.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,434, the highest since May 14.
Crude for October delivery rose $1.09 to $110.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since May 3, 2011.
In local economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its quarterly Private Capital Expenditure report today at 11:30 am.