European equities market headed for positive territories on Friday, steadying just below a five-and-a-half-year high hit yesterday, despite slump in global markets after disappointing results from some U.S. major companies. - Stoxx 600 rose 0.10 percent, 0.33 points to 334.32 - Stoxx 50 gained 0.16 percent, 4.97 points to 3,155.17 Wall Street slumped in the previous session, weighed by disappointing quarterly earnings reports, where Goldman Sachs saw a 21 percent drop in profit, while Citigroup posted lower-than-expected results. Both the Dow and S&P 500 slipped. While Asian markets dropped after U.S. corporate earnings data, while investors waited for Chinese economic data next week, especially reports on the gross domestic product and industrial production due on Monday for fresh clues on the economy. In corporate news, oil major Royal Dutch Shell said on Friday its fourth-quarter figures were expected to be significantly lower than recent levels of profitability due to current oil and gas prices and problems in the downstream environment. - As of 03:38 ET , Royal Dutch Shell PLC share declined 3.42% to trade at 2,120.00 GBP Investors in Europe will be closely waiting for rating announcements on Ireland , Portugal , Slovenia and the Netherlands by top ratings agencies Fitch, S&P and Moody`s. On data front, markets are waiting for monthly retail sales data for the U.K. and Germany , both set to be released later in the session. - The British FTSE 100 was up 0.05% or 3.49 points to 6,818.91 - The French CAC 40 rose 0.14% or 6.13 points to 4,325.40 - Frankfurt's DAX 30 added 0.24% or 23.33 points to 9,741.04 Investors will also scrutinize reports on U.S. housing and industrial-output data. The U.S. Commerce Department may show U.S. housing starts fell 9.3 percent to a 990,000 in December, from a 1.09 million a month earlier. A separate, also due today may show industrial production in the world's biggest economy expanded 0.3 percent last month.
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