Stockbrokers at Frankfurt stock exchange
Europe\'s main stock markets mainly steadied on Friday as traders awaited monthly US jobs data and reacted to a batch of mixed company earnings.
London\'s FTSE 100 index
of top blue-chip companies edged down 0.09 percent to stand at 6,675.73 points around midday in the British capital.
Frankfurt\'s DAX 30 inched up 0.06 percent to 8,415.98 points and the CAC 40 in Paris grew 0.15 percent to 4,048.72 compared with Thursday\'s closing levels.
\"European indices are trading slightly higher on Friday, while US futures are pointing to a flat open as caution returns to the markets ahead of the US jobs report for July,\" said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari traders.
The euro rose to $1.3212 from $1.3208 late in New York on Thursday. The dollar gained to 99.62 yen from 99.52 yen.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold dropped to $1,288.16 an ounce from $1,315 on Thursday.
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi suggested on Thursday that eurozone interest rates could fall further from their current record low levels should the economic outlook deteriorate.
But Draghi was convinced that the 17-nation bloc\'s economy appeared to be stabilising. At its regular monthly policy meeting, the ECB\'s governing council voted to keep key rates unchanged at an all-time low of 0.5 percent, as expected.
Asian stock markets meanwhile closed higher for a second straight session following another record close on Wall Street and a string of positive economic data from China, Europe and the United States, traders said.
Later on Friday, the US government releases non-farm payrolls data, which will give an idea about the strength of the world\'s number one economy.
On Thursday, the Institute for Supply Management\'s PMI index showed that US manufacturing activity surged to the highest level for more than two years in July, well above market estimates.
Meanwhile on Friday in London, shares in Royal Bank of Scotland slid 4.50 percent to 318.50 pence despite the state-rescued lender returning to profit in the first half.
The bank itself admitted that much work remained before RBS can return to the private sector, while the lender announced also that it had promoted the head of its retail business, Ross McEwan, to the post of chief executive, beginning in October.
On the upside, shares in IAG jumped 5.0 percent to 312 pence after the parent of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia said it had swung into profit in the second quarter.