Europe's main stock markets inched lower on Friday after recent strong gains, and the euro fell versus the dollar, as traders sat tight awaiting US monthly jobs data.
London's FTSE 100 index dipped 0.06 percent to 5,901.61 points approaching midday in the British capital, as Frankfurt's DAX 30 eased 0.06 percent to 7,530.35 points and the Paris CAC 40 edged down 0.05 percent to 3,599.72.
"Markets are likely to be fairly quiet until the release of US non-farm (figures)... which will direct investors as to whether or not the Santa rally can really be supported," said Spreadex trader David White.
European stock markets have risen strongly this week, with Frankfurt striking a near five-year high and Paris hitting its best level so far this year, as investors bet on a better news for the single currency bloc despite debt strains.
"European equities are higher and peripheral bond yields lower as investors have become more comfortable with the idea that both the political will and central bank will to save the euro is stronger than the economic reality," said Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads trading group.
In foreign exchange deals Friday, the euro dropped to $1.2937 from $1.2969 late in New York on Thursday.
Gold prices rose slightly to $1,697.24 an ounce on the London Bullion Market, from $1,694.25.
The European single currency had turned sharply lower on Thursday after the European Central Bank said a decision to leave its key rate unchanged was not unanimous.
Traders had expected the central bank to hold fire at its last policy meeting of 2012, but the revelation by ECB head Mario Draghi that some members of the governing council supported a rate cut was enough for markets to take pause.
"The euro has been well and truly 'Draghied', falling almost two cents against the dollar and around a cent against sterling after the ECB chief revealed the governing council discussed cutting the overnight deposit rate below zero (percent) and suggested the bank was operationally ready to do so when needed," said Alistair Cotton, analyst at foreign exchange group Currencies Direct.
"The prospect of negative interest rates is a sell signal that any sane currency trader could not ignore, which explains the speed and scale of the move so far," he added.
Further weighing on the euro Friday were comments from Germany's central bank that the country, Europe's biggest economy, would fail to escape the debt crisis and might even see a technical recession early next year.
In company news, Italian private equity fund Investindustrial has bought a 37.5 percent stake in legendary British carmaker Aston Martin, the two firms said in a joint statement on Friday.
Investindustrial was to invest 150 million pounds (186 million euros, $240 million) in Aston Martin in the form of a capital increase.
Asian stock markets closed mostly higher on Friday after Wall Street had risen on Thursday.