Britain's FTSE 100 continued its climb to record highs on Tuesday while Europe's top benchmark failed to hold early gains with financials the biggest drag
The pan-European STOXX 600 index down 0.3 percent, while the FTSE 100 hit a new all-time high of 7,261.16 points before paring back slightly, up 0.2 percent.
France's CAC 40 was up 0.3 percent and Germany's DAX also gained 0.3 percent in early deals.
British retailer WM Morrison was a top gainer in the STOXX after Christmas trading results exceeded expectations. Its shares were up 4.5 percent and the stock had already traded a full days' volume within the first 15 minutes of trading.
Fast food delivery company Just Eat was the top faller, down 6.3 percent after its results, which indicated full year order growth of 42 percent, but analysts at Jefferies said the company was 'likely to disappoint'.
Insurance and banking sectors were the top fallers, with Italian banks back in focus after Poplare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca proposed a settlement deal with shareholders that could cost more than 600 million euros.
Industrials extended their recent gains, buoyed by Germany's
Siemens and France's Airbus, which was set
to outperform plane deliveries for 2016.