European shares close higher to extend rally
European equities closed higher on Friday, with the FTSE 100 boosted by better-than-expected retail sales data in the U.K. Miners were the biggest sector gainers.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed higher by 0.5 percent at 1,344.75 points, after a moderate but broad-based rally.
London's FTSE 100 provisionally closed higher by 0.2 percent (finishing the week up by 1.32 percent) after U.K.retail sales showed a massive boost. British shopping figures came in way above expectations for December, official data showed Friday, with strong growth at smaller stores resulting in the largest annual rise since 2004.
(Read More: Surprise! British retail sales surge in December)
Oil giant Shell slides
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell saw its stock close flat after it warned that its fourth-quarter profit is expected to be "significantly lower than recent levels" due to oil and gas price levels and the conditions of the downstream oil products industry.
(Read More: Shell warns of 'significantly lower' profit)
In other stocks news, shares of U.K. bookmaker William Hill closed lower by around 3.4 percent lower after announcing Friday that it expected its full-year profit to be in line with the previous year.
Shares of Accor closed the day higher by roughly 1.6 percent after the hotel chain increased its profit target for the year, citing a rebound of demand in Europe.
Jeweler Pandora saw its shares provisionally close up 2.8 percent after reporting a strong holiday sales period.
In other news Friday, Apple launched its iPhone with China Mobile as part of a multi-year deal. Its newest models, the 5S and the cheaper 5C, will be available from both Apple and China Mobile. Apple hopes the deal will give it a boost in the Chinese market.
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