European stock markets slid modestly on Friday, following sharp losses suffered the previous day, failing to score gains despite positive German and US economic data.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) index fell 0.60 percent to stand at 6,6656.51 points in afternoon deals, Frankfurt's DAX 30 (Xetra: ^GDAXI - news) shed 0.76 percent to 8,288.78 points and in Paris the CAC 40 (Paris: ^FCHI - news) slipped 0.07 percent to 3,964.52.
The Madrid market dropped 1.30 percent and Milan shed 0.70 percent.
"After the drama of yesterday's sell-off markets have started on a much quieter note this morning, ticking sideways as traders weigh up whether the move represents the first phase of a much deeper correction still to come," said Matt Basi, head of UK sales trading at CMC Markets.
European markets drifted further down towards the open of trading on Wall Street, however.
"Much stronger than expected measures on the German Ifo business survey weren't enough to inspire a return to" buying on dips in the market, he added.
German business confidence rose unexpectedly in May, data showed on Friday, as businesses in Europe's top economy express become more optimistic about the future.
The Ifo economic institute's closely watched business climate index rose to 105.7 points in May from 104.4 points in April. Analysts had been expecting an unchanged reading this month.
"The Ifo business climate index has risen again after two consecutive declines," said the think tank's economist Kai Carstensen.
"The firms are clearly more satisfied with their current business situation than in the previous month. The outlook for future business is unchanged and slightly positive," he said.
European stock markets had slumped on Thursday, with most indices dropping more than 2.0 percent after Tokyo shares plunged owing to weak Chinese data and signs that the US Federal Reserve may soon taper massive stimulus measures, analysts said.
European equities had pulled back sharply after recent record and multi-year highs for some indices on the back of improving world economic data despite ongoing eurozone strains and some still weak numbers out of the United States and China.
Tokyo's main index ended down more than seven percent on Thursday as investors took profits also after strong recent gains. It recovered slightly on Friday, closing up 0.89 percent.
The Tokyo market has gained in recent weeks from a weakening yen, which lifts demand for Japanese goods abroad, boosting the profits of exporting companies.
In Friday deals, the dollar slid to 101.39 yen from 101.82 yen late in New York on Thursday.
The euro meanwhile slipped to $1.2927 from $1.2935 on Thursday, when markets responded to Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke, who a day earlier told Congress that the US central bank could scale back stimulus measures soon if economic conditions improved.
"The euro has remained relatively stable against the US dollar over the past week, deriving support from tentative signs that the pace of economic recession in the eurozone is easing," said Lee Hardman, currency analyst at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London.
Elsewhere Friday, on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold dropped to $1,380.50 an ounce from $1,408.50 on Thursday.
US stocks fell in opening trade Friday as caution continued to reign.
Five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.25 percent to 15,256.03 points, while the broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.49 percent to 1,642.35 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite fell 0.49 percent at 3,442.34.
Stocks slipped despite a rebound in US durable goods orders in April, which gained 3.3 percent led by aircraft orders after March's 5.9 percent drop.
"Uncertainty regarding the timing of when the Federal Reserve will taper its asset purchases and festering uneasiness toward Chinese economic growth continue to stymie stocks," said Charles Schwab.