European stocks opened cautiously on Friday after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to push for a fresh general election in December, while corporate earnings season remains in focus.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early trade at 397.60, with retail stocks rising 1.4% to lead gains while the food and beverage sector dropped 1.4%.
European Union member states are in the process of discussing the length of a proposed extension to the U.K.'s October 31 deadline for leaving the EU, with most states understood to favor a three-month delay with an option to leave earlier if Johnson's new Withdrawal Agreement Bill is ratified by British parliament.
The prime minister meanwhile has offered to give British lawmakers more time to debate his deal if they back a general election on December 12, with Members of Parliament set to vote Monday on a motion to send the U.K. to the polls again.
Source : CNBC