European share edged lower at the opening session on Friday, while the financial stocks wilted after a delayed vote on tax reform in the US deflated a rally in the sector.
Euro zone stocks fell 0.6 per cent while Britain's FTSE, which has suffered from a strong sterling this week, slid 0.1 per cent, reports Reuters.
Financials were the biggest weight after the US Senate delayed a vote on a tax reform bill that investors anticipate will be beneficial for banks.
Lloyds, Barclays, and BNP Paribas led the index down.
Oil and gas stocks stayed buoyant, with Shell, Total and BP leading sector gains as OPEC’s extension of supply cuts continued to boost crude prices.
Healthcare stocks outperformed thanks to a Morgan Stanley upgrade boosting UCB by 3.3 per cent while Novo Nordisk, flagged as one of the strategists’ favourites in the pharma space, gained 2.8 per cent.
British pharma company Indivior also shot up 11.7 per cent after its opioid addiction drug got approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Struggling French telecom company Altice - whose shares sank 59 per cent in November after disappointing results - rose 4.6 per cent after the company said it would sell data centre and Swiss telecoms businesses in a bid to reduce its 50 billion euro debt pile.
Meanwhile shares in Dialog Semiconductor, hammered on Thursday by a press report Apple would in-source its power chip design, removing a crucial supplier relationship for the German firm, recovered to trade up 4.0 per cent.