Wall Street was mixed, after earlier touching record highs, as investors assessed the impact of testimony by recently-fired FBI Director James Comey to Congress.

In 3.08pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1 per cent. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 per cent. In 2.52pm trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.2 per cent.

Earlier in the day, the Dow touched a record high 21,265.69 while the Nasdaq climbed to a record 6,318.39.

"I think the market is taking less of an alarmist review of this situation because there is no smoking gun here," Thomas Simons, money market economist at Jefferies & Co in New York, told Reuters. "So it's not particularly impactful for thinking about ... Trump's economic agenda to go through."


The Dow slid as declines in shares of Merck and those of Walt Disney, recently down 1.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively, outweighed gains in shares of Goldman Sachs and those of JPMorgan Chase, recently both up 1.5 per cent.

Shares of Nordstrom jumped, trading 8.6 per cent higher as of 3.36pm in New York, after the company said members of the Nordstrom family have formed a group to explore the possibility of pursuing a "going private transaction."

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the day at 389.15, barely budging from the previous close. France's CAC40 Index inched 0.02 per cent lower, while the UK's FTSE 100 Index slid 0.4 per cent. Germany's DAX Index rose 0.3 per cent.

The euro declined after the European Central Bank kept its interest rates unchanged, and upgraded its growth forecast while cutting its expectations for inflation. The ECB now predicts the region's GDP will expand at 1.9 per cent in 2017, up from its previous estimate for 1.8 per cent previously, while it sees 2018 growth at 1.8 per cent, up from its previous forecast for 1.7 per cent.

"The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook are considered to be broadly balanced," ECB President Mario Draghi said at a press conference in Tallinn, Estonia.

"On the one hand, the current positive cyclical momentum increases the chances of a stronger than expected economic upswing," Draghi noted. "On the other hand, downside risks relating to predominantly global factors continue to exist."

The central bank also said that the Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates "to remain at their present levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases."

It no longer mentioned the potential to cut rates.


"Even though [the ECB decision] was well telegraphed over the last 24 hours, the future expectations on inflation came in a bit lower than the market had been anticipating," Dean Popplewell, chief currency strategist at Oanda in Toronto, told Reuters. "That sort of weighed on the euro."

Meanwhile, investors are eyeing the outcome of the general election in the UK.

"We are seeing the natural, sensible hedging that usually precedes risk events like a general election," Ken Odeluga, a market analyst at City Index in London who also covers derivatives, told Bloomberg. "Some investors are seeking protection as a Conservative majority, while still likely, is looking less like a done deal."