Wall Street fluctuated, while US Treasuries rose, following Donald Trump's first press conference as US President-elect, which sent health care stocks tumbling but stopped short of stimulus details investors had hoped for.

"The market didn't get what it wanted -- details on stimulus to be provided," Bipan Rai, senior foreign-exchange and macro strategist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, told Bloomberg.

"For now, today's pre-Trump trades are being unwound."

Pharmaceutical and stocks fell after Trump criticised the industry and pricing.

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"They are getting away with murder. Pharma has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there is very little bidding," Trump said.

"We're the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don't bid properly and we're going to save billions of dollars."

Wall Street was mixed. In 1.23pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched 0.01 per cent higher. However, the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3 per cent. In 1.08pm trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 0.1 per cent.

In the Dow, gains in shares of Merck and those of Chevron, recently up 2 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively, offset declines in shares of Pfizer and those of Johnson & Johnson, down 2.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.

US Treasuries gained, pushing yields on the 10-year note down to 2.34 per cent.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the session with a 0.2 per cent rise from the previous close. France's CAC 40 Index eked out a 0.01 per cent increase, while the UK's FTSE 100 Index rose 0.2 per cent to close at a record high and Germany's DAX Index gained 0.5 per cent.

J Sainsbury shares climbed after the British supermarket chain, battered by discount rivals Aldi and Lidl, posted quarterly sales that bettered expectations.

Sainsbury's same-store sales increased 0.1 per cent, excluding fuel, in the 15 weeks ended January 7, the company said in a statement. Argos same-store sales rose 4 per cent in the same period, it said.

"After a mostly miserable 2016, the struggling brand's sighs of relief are audible," John Ibbotson, director of consultant Retail Vision, told Bloomberg. "But talk of a turnaround is a touch premature. So far, it's a case of Sainsbury's steadying the ship rather than plain sailing."

Sainsbury shares closed 2.6 per cent higher in London.

Others proved more upbeat.

"UK supermarkets seem to be in rude health following bullish statements from both Morrison's and Sainsbury's," IG analyst Josh Mahony told Reuters.