European stocks saw a large decline on the last day of trading of 2017, weighed down by another push higher in the single currency as government bond yields diverged again on either side of the Pond, especially out on the euro area's periphery.
Asian stocks finished a stellar year on Friday, that saw them eclipse gains in the States and on the Continent, on a mixed note.
US stocks were little changed in early trade in the final session of the year, although the Dow and the S&P 500 were hovering near record highs in holiday-thinned volumes.
US stocks looked set to hit fresh records on the last trading day of the year, with volumes likely to be extremely light.
Italians will head to the polls again on 4 March, 2018, it has been decided, and perhaps again towards the middle of the same year, according to analysts.
Wall Street finished on a slightly higher note as investors sifted through a slew of data releases on an otherwise quiet day, with little in the way of corporate news and volumes thin ahead of the new year.