European markets were flat in early trading on Friday with a number of rate hike decisions due next week after stronger-than-expected US economic data.
The pan-European STOXX 600 Index was up about 0.1% at 9am London time, with all major stock exchanges down. Oil and gas rose 0.8% as mining stocks fell 0.4%.
Investors are processing mixed performance from corporate earnings released this week, making the start of the year a jerky rally.
US data on core inflation, personal income and spending, and pending home sales are due out on Friday. The US economy outperformed expectations, expanding he 2.9% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, but recession concerns remain.
In Europe, data on French consumer confidence and Eurozone household loans are due. Earlier in the week, the German government and research group Ifo said Europe’s largest economy was likely to avoid a recession this year.
All earnings and economic data will be closely monitored and the central bank will be in the spotlight next week. The Federal Reserve will meet Tuesday-Wednesday, while the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will announce their rate hike decisions on Thursday.