European markets were mixed in early Friday trading amid a pause in the global equity market rally and a slumping U.S. dollar that helped shares in Asia to their best weekly gain in more than six months.
Britain's FTSE 100 was little-changed from its record high close on Thursday, although banks and financial stocks led Friday's leaders and offset some profit-taking for the mining and materials sector. An early mover of note in pharma stocks, however, was AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) ,which fell 0.5% to 4,840.77 pence each after it received a second "complete response letter" from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration regarding its ZS-9 Hyperkalaemia treatment, putting the drug's approval process in the United States in doubt.
Germany's DAX was marked 0.2% lower by 09:30 GMT as the index was held down by a slide in European carmakers, which fell across the board after Germany's Economy Minister warned of a potential legal challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump's border tax plans ahead of a meeting with Angela Merkel in Washington.
The Stoxx 600 Europe Automobiles and Parts Index was quoted 1.4% lower in the opening hour of trading, with marked declines seen for German automakers Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) , BMW (BMWYY) and Daimler (DDAIY) . In Paris, Europe's second-biggest carmaker, PSA Peugeot (PUGOY) , was trading 1.9% lower while domestic rival Renault (RNLSY) extended its declines by a further 0.91% amidst a storm of allegations related to diesel emissions cheating.
Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries told Germany's' Deutschlandfunk radio that Trump's aim to apply a 35% tax on cars manufactured in Mexico and imported into the United States could elicit a reaction from the German government via the World Trade Organisation.