European shares climbed on Friday, on track to end a data-packed week on a positive note, as stellar earnings updates and hopes of imminent rate cuts by the European Central Bank lifted investors' appetite for risky assets.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.5% by 0808 GMT to hit a two-year high, with miners leading gains with a 2.2% jump so far this week.

UK's FTSE 100 outperformed regional peers with a 0.8% rise after British retail sales rose by a stronger-than-expected 3.4% in January, from the prior month when they fell by 3.3%.

Boosting sentiment, ECB member and Bank of France head Francois Villeroy de Galhau said there are several compelling reasons why the ECB should not hold off for too long on an initial interest rate cut this year.

Shares of Metso jumped more than 7% after the Finnish mining equipment maker reported a fourth-quarter profit beat and gave an optimistic outlook for its aggregates unit.

NatWest slipped 0.7% despite the British bank posting a forecast-beating profit for 2023. The lender gears up for a crunch sale of state-owned stock in the company after a scandal-hit year.

Belgium's Umicore dropped 4.2% to the bottom of STOXX 600 after the company forecast a decline in its 2024 core profit.

(Reporting by Shubham Batra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)