- US confidence falls
- US building permits and housing starts drop
- Industrial and manufacturing output rises in US
- UK retail sales jump
FTSE 100: 0.20%
CAC 40: 0.20%
FTSE MIB: 0.47%
IBEX 35: 0.01%
Stoxx 600: 0.51%
European stocks ended the week on a high note as investors weighed a batch of mixed US data.
The preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer confidence index unexpectedly fell from 82.5 to 80.4 in January, surprising analysts who had expected a rise to 83.5.
"Despite record high stock markets and gradually improving labour market conditions, the University of Michigan's measure of consumer confidence dropped back to 80.4 in January, from 82.5," Capital Economics said.
"Nevertheless, the headline index only reversed a small part of December's sharp rise, we aren't too concerned about the fall, particularly as the unseasonably severe winter weather, aka the polar vortex, may have played a role."
US building permits dropped by 3% in December to 986,000, coming in below the 1.014m prediction.
US housing starts declined 9.8% over the month in December to reach an annualised rate of 999,000, according to the US Department of Commerce. It marked a significantly pull-back from the revised 23.1% gain in November but still came in ahead of the consensus forecast of 990,000.
Meanwhile,industrial production increased by 0.3% in December, as expected. Manufacturing output expanded by 0.4%, ahead of the 0.3% rise predicted.
The data comes as the Federal Reserve's policy meeting at the end of the month looms. In December the central bank began unwinding monthly bond purchases by $10bn to $75bn and said it would gradually introduce further tapering provided economic reports pointed to continued recovery in the US.
UK retail sales rise more than forecast
UK retail sales grew 6.1% year-on-year in December, compared to a 2.1% rise the previous month. Economists had pencilled in an increase of 3.2%.
They rose at a month-on-month pace of 2.8% (consensus: 0.3%) from November's 0.2% gain.
"We believe that today's surprising growth has been partially supported by easing price pressure," said Barclays Research.
"However, we highlight that UK households will continue to face headwinds from low real income growth, credit constraints and the need to repair their balance sheets. As a result, although we look for the recovery in consumer demand to be sustained, we expect it to be moderate by historical standards."
Mining stocks rally
A gauge of mining companies, including Rio Tinto and Glencore Xstrata, rose as the price of metals edged higher.
PSA Peugeot Citroen climbed following reports the board will meet on January 19th to decide whether to accept investments of €500m apiece from Dongfeng Motor Corp. and the French government.
DS Smith advanced as Berenberg Bank rated the packaging company's stock for the first time, with a 'buy' rating.
Pandora was up after increasing its forecasts for 2013 sales and profit-margin for the second time in three months.
Accor gained after the European hotel operator said that profit probably reached the upper end of its forecast in 2013.
Royal Dutch Shell declined after the oil producer warned that fourth-quarter profits will be "significantly lower" than recent levels due to tough market conditions in downstream, higher exploration expenses and lower upstream volumes.
Ocado Group slumped as Deutsche Bank began coverage of the shares
with a 'sell' rating.
Essilor International tumbled after lowering its forecast sales growth for 2013.
The euro fell 0.43% to $1.3562.
Brent crude futures climbed $0.983 to $106.800 per barrel, according to the ICE.