In the UK, the FTSE 100 index of leading shares has begun trading 1.6 points lower at 5,406.30 on the back of an indecisive German election result.
Takeover target Scottish Power has fallen 0.9% following reports British industry may scupper a bid from German firm E.ON.
Telecoms firm Vodafone has also fallen 0.7% ahead of its investor day. The firm says its number of third-generation mobile phones rose to 4.35m in August a rise of about 1m since July.
Unilever has gained 1.8% following reports the consumer goods firm is poised to scrap its dual stock market listing.
In the US, stock-index futures fell on Friday as rising crude oil prices raised corporate concern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 20 points to 10653 at its close.
Crude oil rose from a six-week low in New York on speculation an OPEC pledge to pump at full strength would fail to raise output enough to meet demand in the event of another Gulf of Mexico hurricane.
Crude for October delivery rose as much as $0.78, or 1.2%, to $63.78 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Altria, owner of the cigarette maker Philip Morris and Kraft Foods Inc, fell $0.37 to $72.77, while Pfizer, the world's biggest drugmaker, dropped $0.10 to $25.80.
In Japan the markets were closed as the country observed a public holiday.IFAonline.co.uk
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