European shares closed mixed on Friday, having wavered throughout the day, with concerns remaining about slow growth, low inflation and hefty valuations.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed provisionally up 0.2 percent at 1,360.10 points, with traders cautious on equities going into the weekend.
In addition, autos stocks struggled after the release of disappointing sales data out of Europe.
Core fixed income assets seem to be the main beneficiary of the recent wobble in global sentiment. Stocks in Europe dropped lower on Wednesday and Thursday, as did the euro, with investors mulling whether the European Central Bank will announce further monetary stimulus at its next meeting in June.
Portuguese stocks fall
On the data front, the euro zone's trade balance for March narrowed, but was slightly better than analysts' expectations. The external trade surplus of the 18 countries in the bloc was 17.1 billion euros ($23.4 billion), according to the EU's statistics office, better than the 15.5 billion euros expected in a Reuters poll.
In stocks news, Portuguese stocks struggled throughout the day, but were provisionally up 0.1 percent at the close. This followed poor growth data on Thursday. In addition, shares of Banco Espirito Santo pushed the benchmark Portuguese index lower after the bank announced a rights issue and had its price target cut by Societe Generale.
U.S. stocks hovered around the flatline on Friday, after a better-than-expected housing report helped limit losses.
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