- UK surplus shrinks in January
- British retail sales fall
- US existing house sales drop
- Ukraine leaders sign peace deal
FTSE 100: 0.38%
CAC 40: 0.60%
FTSE MIB: -0.30%
IBEX 35: 0.07%
Stoxx 600: 0.41%
European stocks were little changed following the release of reports on Britain's public finances, UK retail sales and US home sales.
Britain's public finances, excluding financial sector interventions, showed a £4.718bn surplus in January, down from £6.035bn a year ago, reflecting lower income tax and corporation tax recipes. Economists had forecast a surplus of £8.15bn.
The release comes as Finance Minister George Osborne prepares his annual budget.
Another report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed an unexpected 1.5% month-on-month decline in British retail sales in January, the biggest drop since April 2012.
Sales were up 4.3% up on the year, but it was weaker than forecast. The ONS said that the fall was mainly due to poor supermarket and clothes sales.
In the US, existing home sales fell by 5.1% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62m, according to the National Association of Realtors, from 4.87m in December. This was the slowest pace since July 2012 and compares with the consensus forecast of 4.67m.
In other news, this weekend's Group of 20 (G20) meeting will be closely watched as finance ministers and central bankers meet in Sydney to discuss how to reduce volatility in the market as the Federal Reserve scales back its bond-buying programme.
Ukraine signs peace deal
Ukraine opposition leaders signed a peace deal with President Viktor Yanukovich on Friday in an effort to end violent protests that have left dozens dead.
The deal paves the way for an early presidential election some time this year as Yanukovich comes under pressure to quit from mass demonstrations in Kiev. A vote for it had been due in March 2015.
It comes after the European Union agreed to impose sanctions on Ukrainian officials "responsible for violence".
At least 77 people have been killed this week. The deadly riots began after Yanukovich turned down a EU trade deal and instead accepted a $15bn bailout deal with Russia.
Vodafone edged up after UBS aid the mobile-phone operator may attract potential bidders after the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless.
Royal Bank of Scotland rallied following reports it will cut 30,000 jobs as it slashes its investment banking arm to scale back costs.
Valeo gained after the French auto-parts maker posted half-year earnings that beat analysts' estimates.
Tehcnip was higher after Societe Generale SA upgraded its rating on the stock to 'buy' from 'neutral', saying Europe's largest oilfield-services provider may begin to reduce costs on tighter spending.
Elekta AB slipped as the manufacturer of medical products used in cancer and neurological treatments cut its sales forecast for the current year.
Kering SA dropped after growth at its Gucci luxury-goods brand slowed more than analysts had projected.
The euro rose 0.06% to $1.3727.
Brent crude futures fell $0.501 to $109.750 per barrel, according to data on the ICE.