- Traders eye US non-farm payrolls
- German court refers ECB's OMT to EU court
- NIESR lifts UK economic growth outlook
FTSE 100: 0.03%
CAC 40: -0.12%
FTSE MIB: 0.16%
IBEX 35: -0.10%
Stoxx 600: 0.19%
European stocks were mixed before the release of the US non-farm payrolls report and after German judges referred a complaint against the European Central Bank's (ECB) bond-buying programme to the European Court.
The Labor Department's jobs data is expected to show businesses added 188,000 employees in January after a revised 87,000 increase in December.
Analysts predict the US unemployment rate held at 6.7% in January.
It follows the release of yesterday's initial US unemployment claims for the week ending February 1st which dropped more than forecast by 20,000 to 331,000.
On Wednesday, the ADP revealed private-sector companies increased payrolls by 175,000 in January, compared to 227,000 a month earlier and the forecast of 185,000.
Investors and policymakers are closely monitoring the labour market after the Federal Reserve announced a second round of monetary stimulus tapering last month, noting the improvement in the US recovery.
Ahead of today's US jobs data, reports on UK manufacturing and industrial production will be released.
Analysts predict industrial production in December rose by 2.3% against the prior year, compared to a 2.5% increase in November. Manufacturing output is also tipped to climb 2.3% in December, down from the prior month's 2.8% growth.
It follows Markit's UK manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) on Monday which slipped to 56.7 in January from December's downwardly revised 57.2, slightly short of analysts' expectations for 57. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
German court refers ECB's OMT to European Court
Germany's Constitutional Court has referred an objection against the ECB's "unlimited" quantitative easing programme to the European Court.
The ECB's Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) programme was announced by ECB chief Mario Draghi in September 2012 and is widely credited with stabilising the euro.
The court said it sees "important reasons to assume that it exceeds the European Central Bank's monetary policy mandate and thus infringes the powers of the member states, and that it violates the prohibition of monetary financing of the budget".
The news erased earlier gains in the European market.
NIESR raises UK economic growth forecast
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) on Friday raised its UK economic growth forecast to 2.5% from a previous 2%.
The economic research body said growth will be driven by consumer spending and demand in the housing market but warned that weak productivity poses a risk for the country's medium-term outlook.
NIESR expects growth to ease in 2015 to 2.1%, less than other economists' projections.
Britain's economy grew by 1.9% in 2013, the fastest rate since the 2008 financial crisis.
ArcelorMittal advanced after the world's biggest steelmaker posted fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts' expectations.
Statoil declined as the Norwegian oil company reported a drop in quarterly profit that fell short of market forecasts.
Shire slumped after saying it will no longer pursue the development of Vyvanse, its medicine for the treatment of major depressive disorder.
Tate & Lyle gained after JP Morgan upgraded the agribusiness to an 'overweight' rating from 'underweight'.
The euro fell 0.17% to $1.3567.
Brent crude futures dropped $0.056 to $107.130 per barrel, according to ICE data.