The pan-European STOXX 600 index dipped 0.1 per cent, after having gained nearly 4 per cent so far this month.
ING Groep NV jumped 5 per cent after the largest Dutch bank reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter pre-tax earnings of 1.05 billion euros ($1.27 billion).
ASML Holding NV rose 1.5 per cent after the Dutch equipment maker said chip shortages slowing car production were a symptom of broader increased demand that is placing strains on suppliers across the semiconductor sector.
European technology stocks were 0.4 per cent higher, among the few sectors in positive territory in early trading.
Market participants were hopeful that a proposed $1.9 trillion U.S. stimulus bill would be passed soon by lawmakers, with data showing a stalling recovery in the U.S. labour market strengthening the case for it.