European stocks opened lower on Friday, as the European Central Bank's latest policy decision sent the euro broadly higher and as concerns over Hurricane Irma and North Korean threats weighed on sentiment ahead of the weekend.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 slipped 0.15%, France's CAC 40 declined 0.36%, while Germany's DAX 30 edged down 0.10% by 03:45 a.m. ET (07:45 GMT).
ECB President Mario Draghi added that the outlook for growth and inflation in the euro area remained "broadly unchanged."
Meanwhile, markets monitored the advancement of Hurricane Irma. The category 5 storm is projected to hit Florida over the weekend.
Investors also remained cautious amid speculation North Korea could launch an intercontinental ballistic missile on Saturday, which will mark the anniversary of the founding of the nation.
Financial stocks were mixed, as BNP Paribas (OTCPK:BNPZY) gained 0.53% and Societe Generale (OTCPK:SCGLY) slipped 0.13% in France, while Germany's Commerzbank (OTCPK:CRZBY) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) fell 0.10% and 0.15% respectively.
Among peripheral lenders, Intesa Sanpaolo (OTCPK:ISNPY) slipped 0.14% and UniCredito (OTCPK:UNCFY) added 0.16% in Italy, while BBVA (NYSE:BBVA) edged down 0.10% and Banco Santander (NYSE:SAN) rallied 1.70% in Spain.
Elsewhere, Infineon AG (OTCQX:IFNNY) saw shares rise 0.32% following news the German chipmaker bought a stake in U.K. audio specialist Xmos Ltd., in a move to gain from rapidly growing demand for voice-controlled devices like Amazon.com Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Echo assistant and the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Home speaker.
In London, FTSE 100 slipped 0.26%, weighed by Berkeley Group Hldgs (OTCPK:BKGFY), whose shares plummeted 2.32% after 16% of its investors voted against pay plans for top bosses this week, amid backlash over a £92 million windfall for six executives.
Mining stocks were also broadly lower on the commodity-heavy index. Shares in BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) declined 1.48% and Glencore (OTCPK:GLNCY) dropped 0.83%, while Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) lost 1.21% and rival Antofagasta (OTCPK:ANFGY) tumbled 1.62%.
Meanwhile, financial stocks were mostly higher, as the Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) inched up 0.04% and Lloyds Banking (NYSE:LYG) rose 0.28%, while HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HSBC) and Barclays (NYSE:BCS) gained 0.40% and 0.98% respectively.
Worldpay Group PLC WPYGY) was one of the top performers on the index, with shares up 0.85% after U.S. group Vantiv Inc. (VNTV) agreed to buy the e-commerce payments company for about £8 billion.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.31% slide, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.27% fall, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.29% loss.