European stock markets traded mixed and the euro retreated from seven-week highs against the dollar on Friday as traders banked profits ahead of the weekend pause.
London's FTSE 100 index gained 0.26 percent to 6,546.46 points following strong British export data and approaching midday in the British capital.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 fell 0.16 percent to 8,305.24 points and the CAC 40 index in Paris dipped 0.13 percent to 4,059.15.
"Markets have hit a lull... (amid) holiday mode after a busy two weeks dominated by economic figures and news from all the major policy decision makers," said Toby Morris, senior sales trader at CMC Markets, in reference to action being taken by global central banks.
On Friday, the world's second-biggest economy China reported industrial growth for July reached a five-month high.
Industrial production, which measures output at factories, workshops and mines, rose 9.7 percent year-on-year, well above analyst expectations.
Authorities also announced steady expansion in retail sales and fixed asset investment, and a benign inflation figure of 2.7 percent, unchanged on last month.
Analysts said the figures pointed to a more stable outlook for China's economy -- seen as a key driver of global growth -- after months of mounting pessimism.
The data came as Britain's biggest retailer, supermarket chain Tesco, said on Friday that it is in exclusive talks over combining its Chinese operations with those of China Resources Enterprise.
Tesco said the move was in line with the group's strategy of seeking to profit from fast-growing economies, and comes as China seeks to balance export growth with domestic consumption.
Tesco -- the world's third-biggest supermarket group after French rival Carrefour and US retailer Wal-Mart in first place -- said the proposed joint venture would create a business with annual sales of about £10 billion ($15.5 billion, 11.6 billion euros).
Shares in Tesco rose 0.87 percent to stand at 372.3 pence in London morning deals.
Shares in Dutch telecom group KPN leapt by 18.0 percent in response to a bid for full control by Mexican group America Movil.
The euro edged up to $1.3383 from $1.3380 late in New York on Thursday.
The dollar nudged higher to 96.68 yen from 96.65 yen on Thursday.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold rose to $1,306.61 an ounce from $1,298.25 on Thursday.
Asian stock markets closed out the week mixed, while on Wall Street overnight US stocks snapped a three-day losing streak.
US economic figures including retail sales and industrial output are due out as markets look for clues as to when the Federal Reserve will start rolling back its huge stimulus drive.
The US central bank has said any pull back from its quantitative easing scheme rested on evidence of a solid recovery in the world's largest economy.