UK stocks : FTSEurofirst 300 up 1.2 pct
The FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 1.2 percent at 1,165.58, having sunk 1.5 percent on Thursday as uncertainty over the U.S. Federal Reserve's future monetary policy was compounded by disappointing news on the euro zone economy.
Brightening the mood on Friday, data showed German business morale surged at its fastest pace in over two years in February.
The Euro STOXX 50 Volatility Index, or VSTOXX, Europe's widely-used measure of investor risk aversion, retreated from three-month highs hit in the previous session.
"People are looking more relaxed today with the Ifo showing that at least for the German economy things are moving into the right direction," Gerhard Schwarz, strategist at Baader Bank, said.
"I think we are now in a kind of digestion phase going on for a couple of weeks, and after that I would expect a resumption of the uptrend."
Investors in Europe have been seeking protection against the risk that Italian elections next week could produce a political stalemate that will make fiscal reforms more difficult to implement.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index firmed 2 percent to 2,630.05, bouncing back off a 2.3 percent drop on Thursday which took it to a fresh 2013 closing low of 2,579.76.
Technical charts painted a gloomy picture. Lynnden Branigan, technical analyst at Barclays Capital, cautioned that until the index
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