UK shares enjoyed a slight lift on Friday after fresh stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) underpinned European markets, though investors remained cautious ahead of a closely watched U.S. jobs report.
U.S. authorities negotiating with BNP Paribas over alleged sanctions violations at one point suggested that France's biggest bank pay a penalty as high as $16 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, disclosed on Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice and agencies from other jurisdictions are investigating hiring practices in Hong Kong that were already being probed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The 16-day U.S. government shutdown in early October appeared to dampen consumers' appetite for new cars, as five of six automakers reporting monthly sales early on Friday missed analysts' expectations.
The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace in years in October despite a partial government shutdown during the first half of the month, according to one industry report, though a separate reading cast doubt on the strength of factory activity growth.
U.S. stocks fell modestly on Thursday, with investors cautious with indexes near record levels as they digested recent comments from the Federal Reserve, though some strong corporate earnings provided a reason to buy.
General Motors Co (GM.N) on Wednesday posted a better-than-expected third-quarter profit as the U.S. automaker's new lineup of pickup trucks and other revamped models boosted North American results, and revenue rose in Europe for the first time in two years.
U.S. private-sector employers hired the fewest workers in six months in October while tepid domestic demand kept inflation benign last month, suggesting the economy was still in need of stimulus from the Federal Reserve.