Europe's main stock markets steadied Friday as traders reacted to more earnings updates from top companies, while awaiting revisions to US inflation data.

Asia saw holiday-thinned trade, with investors there struggling to build on another record-setting day on Wall Street.

"Today sees things slow down after a week that has seen yet another prominent role played by earnings, with Arm Holdings helping to bolster the tech story that underpins the gains seen for US markets," noted Joshua Mahony, chief market analyst at traders Scope Markets.

Shares in Arm soared in after-hours US trading "after earnings pointed to the AI opportunity for the British chip designer", said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Finalto.

The luxury sector was a focus in Europe, with French giant Hermes on Friday posting record annual sales and net profit.

Hermes said it would reward all employees with a bonus following strong growth in every region last year.

Shares in Hermes rose by more than four percent to 2,618 euros nearing the half-way stage in Paris, propelling the group above cosmetics giant L'Oreal in terms of market value.

L'Oreal's stock price fell more than seven percent to 420 euros after it posted lower-than-expected results for the fourth quarter.

Shares in LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods group, were down 0.3 percent to 802 euros, though it also reported record annual earnings last month.

Gucci owner Kering was up 0.7 percent to 412 euros, a day after reporting slumping profits.

In the US, equities have continued their march higher this week as strong earnings from big-name firms and data showing resilience in the world's number one economy helped overcome Federal Reserve warnings that interest rates will not come down as early as hoped.

Figures released Thursday showing below-expectation US jobless claims reinforced the view that the labour market remained in good health despite interest rates sitting at two-decade highs, but gave the central bank room to hold borrowing costs where they are for longer.

Revisions to the consumer price index due Friday will be pored over and followed by new data for January, with an above-forecast reading seen as justifying the monetary policymakers' reluctance to cut just yet.

- China watch -

While China is in holiday mode, investors are keeping tabs on Beijing, hoping for fresh measures to boost market confidence or even hints of growth-driving help for the country's stuttering economy.

News that consumer prices fell at their sharpest pace since 2009 added to the gloom, and ramped up pressure on officials to address the crisis head-on with a big-time "bazooka" stimulus package.

However, observers were sceptical that anything major would be forthcoming.

Analysts at Eurasia Group said the replacement of the chairman of China's markets regulator "demonstrates that the political impulse remains to tighten administrative controls rather than address fundamental problems facing the economy".

- Key figures around 1115 GMT -

  • London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,603.44 points
  • Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,655.64
  • Frankfurt - DAX: FLAT at 16,965.86
  • EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 4,716.23
  • Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 36,897.42 (close)
  • Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.8 percent at 15,746.58 (close)
  • Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a holiday
  • New York - Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 38,726.33 (close)
  • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0768 from $1.0781 on Thursday
  • Dollar/yen: UP at 149.38 yen from 149.30 yen
  • Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2604 from $1.2620
  • Euro/pound: UP at 85.42 pence from 85.40 pence
  • West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.2 percent at $76.39 per barrel
  • Brent North Sea Crude: DOWN 0.2 percent at $81.50 per barrel