Most of Europe closes lower on 2017's last trading day but FTSE hits record high

Key Points
  • Trade is relative light as the European session marked the last day of trade in 2017. Some markets have closed earlier than usual.
  • European stocks have wrapped up their best year since 2013
  • Oil prices moved higher Friday, with U.S. crude ticking above $60 a barrel

European shares closed lower on Friday as investors waved goodbye to 2017 and looked ahead to what the New Year could bring for markets.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended the day down 0.42 percent provisionally.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 outperformed fellow indices closing up 0.85 percent, on the back of a buy on mining stocks. The index finished at a record high, closing up at 7,687.77 points.

Over the year, the FTSE 100 was 7.6 percent higher than on the last day of trading in 2016.

Meanwhile, the French CAC and German DAX slipped around half a percent each.

Italy's FTSE MIB fell more than one percent lower for the session after the country's president dissolved parliament and called an election for March 4 2018.

European stocks in 2017 have, on average, risen the most in a calendar year since 2013.

Apple apologizes for iPhone slowdowns

Apple issued an apology over the handling of its battery issue, stating that it would make a number of changes for customers "to recognize their loyalty" and try to regain the trust of any who doubted the intentions of the firm.

Meanwhile, Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor ended the day a top performer, up over 2.4 percent.

Sticking with the top gainers, a number of London-listed stocks posted sharp gains, including Just Eat, Ocado, Old Mutual and WH Smith — all of which jumped more than 2.5 percent by the index's early close.

The biggest gainer, however, was Danish international pharmaceutical company Lundbeck which gained more than 3 percent in share value by the end of Friday.

U.K. infrastructure group Balfour Beatty rose 1.43 percent by its close, despite posting declines earlier on in the session.This comes after news that the firm had sold an additional stake in Connect Plus, the operator of London's M25 orbital motorway, Reuters reported.

And shares of Airbus fell more than 1 percent in trade, despite news that the plane manufacturer had finalized a deal with Indigo Partners for 430 A320neo planes.

Meanwhile, oil and gas exploration firm Lundin Petroleum was among Europe's worst performers, down around 2.5 percent at the end of the day.

US WTI rises above $60

Looking to commodities, oil prices edged higher with U.S. crude trading above $60 a barrel, having hit its highest since the middle of 2015. Prices were lifted on the back of an unexpected decline in commercial crude inventories and U.S. production.

And the basket of European basic resources stocks was one of the best performing sectors Friday, posting gains of around 0.8 percent by the European close.

Early in the day, President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he was "very disappointed", after a report indicated that China could have run afoul of international sanctions, by providing oil to North Korea. China has denied the accusations.

U.S. stocks traded lower on average Friday, also their last trading day of the year, but remained within striking distance of all-time highs hit earlier this month.