European share prices rose in London and Paris but fell in Frankfurt on Friday, as investors digested Chinese GDP data that beat expectations but marked the slowest growth rate for 13 years.
London's FTSE 100 index of top companies gained 0.29 percent to 6,150.22 points in late morning deals, despite official data which revealed falling British retail sales during December.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index added 0.06 percent to 3,746.42 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 index reversed opening gains to stand 0.17 percent lower at 7,722.27 points.
In foreign exchange deals, the European single currency eased to $1.3350 from $1.3375 late in New York on Thursday. On the London Bullion Market, gold prices increased to $1,690.88 an ounce from $1,675.
Later on Friday, investors will digest results from US bank Morgan Stanley and industrial group General Electric as the earnings season continues apace.
"European markets opened fractionally higher, on the back of the Chinese data indicating signs of growth and averting so much feared hard landing of the world's second largest economy," said analyst Anita Paluch at trading group Gekko Global Markets.
"The markets are not moving too much though; China may have beaten the blues and caught up on the growth, but it is still the slowest growth since 1999."
Asian shares posted strong gains Friday after China released data showing a strong pick-up in the economy for the past four months, while Japanese stocks were boosted by another fall in the yen.
Tokyo soared 2.86 percent, Hong Kong rose 1.12 percent, Seoul added 0.69 percent and Shanghai put on 1.41 percent.
Beijing said the world's number two economy expanded 7.8 percent in 2012, better than the government target of 7.5 percent, marking a second straight year of easing owing to weakness in key overseas markets.
It also said gross domestic product grew 7.9 percent in the October-December period, snapping seven straight quarters of slowing growth.
Economists surveyed by AFP had projected GDP growth of 7.7 percent in 2012 and 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter.
The figures reinforce recent indications that the economy will not suffer a so-called hard landing and is emerging from a drawn-out slumber that has had a knock-on effect on other countries.
Miners were boosted by news of solid growth in China, which is a major consumer of raw materials.
In London, Kazakhmys shares gained 1.59 percent to 788.25 pence, Antofagasta rose 1.33 percent to 1,297.9 pence, BHP Billiton added 0.65 percent to 2,075 pence and Anglo American won 0.63 percent to 1,904 pence.
Rio Tinto rebounded by 1.45 percent to 3,489.5 pence. The stock had fallen Thursday after the resignation of chief executive Tom Albanese following shock news of a huge $14-billion (10.5-billion-euro) write-down on assets.
"Fourth-quarter GDP in China picked up, lifting commodity prices in overnight action -- resource stocks in Europe are benefiting on the back of this," said strategist Ishiq Siddiqi at trading group ETX Capital.
Wall Street had pulled higher Thursday after the latest US data pointed to an improving employment and housing picture, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.63 percent to 13,596.02.
On the downside, large banks came under pressure following uninspiring earnings reports.
Bank of America dropped 4.2 percent after it reported slim earnings due to extensive litigation-related costs. Citigroup, another victim of the 2008 housing bust, lost 2.9 percent after it reported a large earnings miss.
Intel Corp. meanwhile posted falling profits for the fourth quarter and full year 2012, and offered a disappointing outlook in another sign of the chip giant's woes from a shifting tech landscape.