European stock markets nudged higher on Monday, as investors returning to action after the festive break were met with upbeat eurozone data which boosted the euro.
London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies added 0.02 percent to stand at 6,731.80 points in midday trade.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 index gained 0.20 percent to 9,453.61 points and in Paris CAC 40 firmed 0.07 percent to 4,250.44 compared with Friday's close.
"Equity index moves are reflecting the post-party deflated mood ... and are trading flat to ever-so-slightly higher as traders return to their desks this week," said market strategist Brenda Kelly at trading firm IG.
Investor sentiment won a partial boost as eurozone data appeared to confirm an improvement in the economy, after earlier figures had stoked concern about the outlook.
The Composite Purchasing Managers' Index compiled by Markit Economics, for both services and manufacturing activity, rose to 52.1 points in December from 51.7 in November.
The reading was in line with the first flash estimate and held above the key 50-points boom-or-bust line.
However, France registered ongoing contraction in December.
"Services PMI confirm a picture of slow but steady recovery for the eurozone as a whole," said Marie Diron, senior economic adviser at EY Eurozone Forecast.
"However, the contrast between countries is stark and a source of concern."
Later this week investors will switch attention to interest rate decisions from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.
Both institutions are widely expected to leave their benchmark interest rates at record-lows of 0.50 percent and 0.25 percent respectively.
And on Friday, markets will focus on the key US non-farm payrolls data for the latest update on the health of the world's biggest economy.
"Trading volumes should pick up significantly this week, as traders return to their desks following the festive period and the number of potential catalysts also rises substantially," said analyst Craig Erlam at traders Alpari.
"Volumes over the last couple of weeks have been very low, which is not unusual at this time of year, as traders opt to spend time with family instead of in front of their monitors."
Asian stock markets slip
Asian stock markets fell on the region's first full day of trading in 2014, with Tokyo tumbling as the dollar and euro retreated from five-year highs against the yen.
Tokyo stocks sank 2.35 percent, Sydney lost 0.47 percent and Shanghai gave up 1.80 percent, while Hong Kong shed 0.58 percent in value.
Japan's Nikkei started the year with heavy losses after surging 57 percent in 2013, with profit-taking adding to downward pressure, while the yen rebounded from recent lows.
The dollar and euro last week hit highs against the yen not seen since October 2008, but they fell Friday in thin trade as many dealers stayed away after the holiday season.
Exporters are boosted by the weaker yen which makes their goods cheaper overseas and lifts the yen value of their repatriated earnings.
The European single currency climbed to $1.3606 from $1.3586 late in New York on Friday. The dollar eased to 104.52 yen against 104.85 yen.
The euro rose to 83.13 pence from 82.75 pence on Friday. The British pound rebounded to $1.6366 from $1.6413.
The worst performer was the Turkish lira, which plunged to a new dollar low, pressured by a high-level corruption scandal rattling the government.
The lira fell to 2.1947 to the dollar, after dropping to 2.18 on Thursday and 2.17 on Friday.
The latest pressure on the lira stems from political tensions over a corruption and bribery investigation that has shaken Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.
Gold prices firmed to $1,237.50 an ounce from $1,234.50 on Friday on the London Bullion Market.