People walk past the Bank of England in the City of London, Britain, November 2, 2017 - REUTERS/Toby Melville
LONDON - 3 November 2017: European shares crept higher in early deals on Friday as earnings weighed on shares in French bank Societe Generale and Dutch telecoms firms Altice , though gains for tech stocks and carmakers limited losses.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent, set for its second week of gains in a row, while euro zone blue chips were down 0.1 percent.
Britain's FTSE 100 built on the previous session's gains following the Bank of England's first rate hike in more than a decade, up 0.3 percent.
Friday was another busy day of earnings, with the banking sector in focus. Societe Generale fell 3.8 percent after the French bank reported third quarter earnings which included a 15 percent slump at its investment banking arm.
Telecoms firm Altice was another big faller, down 7.9 percent after issuing cautious full-year targets amidst slightly weaker-than-expected third quarter results.
On the positive side, Norwegian consumer publishing firm Schibsted surged 18 percent to the top of the STOXX after its results came in above forecast.
France's Renault rose 3.9 percent, leading European autos after the French government began the sale of its 4.73 percent stake in the carmaker.
Tech stocks were also in focus after U.S. giant Apple reported better-than-expected earnings, boosting shares in suppliers Dialog Semiconductor 2 percent and AMS 1.6 percent.
So far more than half of MSCI Europe companies have reported third quarter earnings, of which 67 percent have either met or beaten analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.