European stocks were mixed on Friday on renewed concerns over Greece's ability to reduce its debt mountain and as markets awaited key US economic growth data.
London's FTSE 100 index of top shares fell 0.25 percent to 5,780.62 points in midday deals. Frankfurt's DAX 30 index gained 0.31 percent to 6,560.27 points and in Paris the CAC 40 dipped 0.14 percent to 3,358.58.
The euro rose to $1.3136 from $1.3104 late in New York on Thursday.
"With talks ongoing between private creditors of Greek debt and Greece over bond haircuts and US GDP figures due ... investors are naturally refraining from delving too deep into the markets today as both of these elements could send a few ripples into the stock market waters," said Joshua Raymond, chief market strategist at City Index traders.
European economic commissioner Olli Rehn on Friday said he expected Greece to agree a deal with private creditors to write-down its debt this weekend and at the latest in the next few days.
"We're very close," he told the World Economic Forum in Davos. "They're about to close a deal, if not today maybe over the weekend, preferably in January rather than February."
As he spoke in Switzerland, the Greek government in Athens was in talks with private creditors on a voluntary exchange of bonds that would wipe 100 billion euros ($130 billion) off the country's debt of 350 billion euros.
Rehn said that Greece would remain a special case and that the private lenders would not be required to take losses on any other eurozone country's debt, thanks to plans for a better eurozone financial safety net.
Attention was also on the US economy after poor data from the world's biggest economy Thursday and as the US government's Commerce Department prepared to release its first estimate of fourth quarter growth on Friday.
Analysts are forecasting growth between 2.8 and 3.5 percent, a pickup from 1.8 percent in the third quarter.
Official data on Thursday showed sales of new homes in the United States skidded in December, down 2.2 percent from November, bringing to a close the worst year on record.
Only 302,000 new houses were sold during the year, the lowest level in records dating to 1963.
New claims for unemployment benefits rose to 377,000, although the four-week average, an indicator of layoffs, continued to head lower.
The Dow closed down 0.18 percent on Thursday, the broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.57 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq dropped 0.46 percent.
Asian stock markets mostly rose Friday on tentative hopes Greece would be able to agree a deal with creditors on writing down some of its debt, traders said.
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday resumed talks with banks and insurers on a major writedown to help the troubled country escape a devastating default.
The deal under discussion would see private creditors take a "haircut" of at least 50 percent on the 200 billion euros in debt they hold. The previous talks have snagged on the amount of interest to be paid on the remaining debt.