European stock markets gained some ground on Friday with London buoyed by news of another blockbuster takeover bid in the pharmaceuticals sector.
London's FTSE 100 index of top companies advanced 0.30 percent to stand at 6,828.48 points in afternoon trading.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 rose 0.25 percent to 10,029.41 points and in Paris the CAC 40 index gained a slight 0.05 percent to 4,565.48.
The European single currency fell to $1.3579 from $1.3606 late in New York on Thursday.
On Wall Street, US stocks opened higher following mixed earnings reports as investors eyed ongoing unrest in Iraq.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced by 0.18 percent to 16,951.38 points.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.14 percent to 1,962.23, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index put on 0.10 percent at 4,363.61.
Back in London, investors seized on news that Shire Pharmaceuticals had rejected a £27-billion informal bid from US giant AbbVie, arguing that it "fundamentally" undervalued the group.
The news sent Shire's share price soaring, and in afternoon trades it stood at £4.363, a hefty 16.72 percent above Thursday's closing level.
"A bit of merger and acquisition excitement has been just the ticket to enliven trading on what may otherwise have been something of a lacklustre end to the week," said analyst David Madden at traders IG.
Shire, which is listed in London and New York but based in Dublin, also highlighted concerns over AbbVie's proposal to make Britain its home base for tax purposes.
The US firm earlier revealed it had made a third cash-and-shares bid, pitched at £46.26 per share, valuing Shire at the equivalent of $46 billion or 33.7 billion euros.
The blockbuster takeover is the latest multi-billion-dollar deal to rock the global pharmaceuticals sector, and comes after Anglo-Swedish group AstraZeneca fought off a $117-billion takeover bid from US giant Pfizer last month.
"The big news on the London equity market ... is Shire," noted Spreadex analyst David White.
"The big move in price from such a large firm accounts for a good amount of the move in the (FTSE) index."
- Alstom higher -
In other company news, the battle for French group Alstom intensified, as Siemens-Mitsubishi and General Electric sweetened rival bids to win over the government and tie-up with the firm's main power-generation division.
French President Francois Hollande met his prime minister and energy and economy ministers before receiving the firms' chiefs separately to hear their respective cases.
Alstom, which also makes high-speed trains, said it would mull the competing bids in a meeting sometime before Monday which marks the final day of the current GE offer.
Siemens shares gained 0.36 percent to 100.30 euros in Frankfurt deals, while Alstom won 2.87 percent to stand at 28.495 euros.
Newly floated shares in the stock market operator Euronext fell by 1.5 percent to 19.70 euros, dipping below their issue price of 20 euros.
In Lisbon, trading in shares in Banco Espirito Santo was suspended ahead of news that its chief executive will step down next month amid a flap involving misreported accounts.
Asian shares were mixed, hit partly by profit-taking after gains following the US Federal Reserve's broadly upbeat outlook on the US economy a day earlier.
Seoul shed 1.20 percent, Sydney fell 0.89 percent and Tokyo finished flat, while Shanghai added 0.15 percent and Hong Kong gained 0.11 percent.
World oil prices steadied but Brent retained support at $114.94 a barrel, close to a nine-month peak, as dealers tracked the unfolding sectarian conflict in Iraq.
In foreign exchange deals, the British pound slipped to $1.7031 from $1.7039 late on Thursday, when it had struck a five-year peak of $1.7063 on expectations of a British interest rate hike later this year.
The euro meanwhile dipped on Friday to 79.73 British pence from 79.85 pence.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold rose to $1,310 an ounce from $1,293 on Thursday.