European slipped in early trading Friday as investors tallied the first wave of this season's quarterly corporate earnings and kept a keen eye on the U.S. dollar in the first week of President Donald Trump's new administration.
Britain's FTSE 100 was the sole gainer among the major benchmarks, rising 12.5 points, or 0.17%, in the opening minutes of trading thanks in part to a solid 7% surge for Tesco (TSCDY) after its £3.7 billion purchase of food wholesaler Booker Group (BOKGY) .
Tesco, Britain's biggest grocery store chain, will pay the equivalent of 205.3 pence per Booker Group share, a premium of 12% to their Thursday closing price of 183.1 pence each.
Tesco shares jumped more than 100.5% by 08:45 GMT to change hands at 208.6 pence each while Booker Group shares spiked 15.6.1% to 210.9 pence each.
Germany's DAX performance fell 0.11% while France's CAC-40 traded 0.17% lower at 4,851.8 points, with bluechip stocks such as Daimler AG (DDAIY) , VolkswagenAG (VLKAY) and BMW AG (BMWYY) all trading to the downside.
Switzerland's SMI, a normally defensive index that often trades inversely to the major European benchmarks, was also lower Friday, falling 0.3% on the back of a 2.6% decline for UBS Group AG (UBS) - Get Report .
The world's biggest wealth manager posted better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings of €0.19 per share on a fully diluted basis, just ahead of the $0.17 total forecast by analysts but down around 32% from the same period in 2015. It also said an improved outlook in the United States could support growth in the bank's wealth management business, but larger-than-expected client outflows look to have worried investors.
UBS shares traded at Sfr16.54 each in Zurich at 08:45 GMT, down 2.6% on the session to trim their three-month gain to 22%.
Overnight activity in Asia was relatively muted owing to lunar holiday celebrations in China and South Korea, which closed major benchmarks around the region and kept over-the-counter market liquidity thin. Japan's Nikkei 225, however, booked its second consecutive session gain with a 0.3% advance while Australia's S&P/ASK notched a post-holiday return rise of 0.7% to 5,714 points.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average scored a record close for its second day in a row, benefiting from a small bump that cemented its position above 20,000.
The Dow increased 0.16% to 20,100. The blue-chip index has risen for three days in a row, a streak not seen since mid-December. The Nasdaq dropped 0.02% and the S&P 500 declined 0.07%.
The Dow closed above 20,000 for the first time ever on Wednesday. U.S. stocks have risen since President Donald Trump was elected in November as investors placed big bets that his administration would lead to higher infrastructure spending and looser financial regulations.
U.S. futures indicate another bullish session Friday, with the Dow expected to open 35 points higher at the bell and 2.7 point and 0.1 point gains priced in for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq respectively.