European equities closed higher for a second day on Friday, as investors brushed off a worse-than-expected U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for January, and as steelmaker Arcelormittal surged on optimistic 2014 forecasts.
US jobs data misses
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed up 0.7 percent at 1,299.53 points — despite wild fluctuations in early afternoon trade — following the release of jobs data in the U.S.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that employers added 113,000 positions as frigid weather and a deluge of storms dampened hiring. The unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent.
U.S. stocks climbed for a second consecutive session following the report.
(Read More: Wicked winter puts big chill on jobs creation)
"This does confirm that there's probably some degree of slowness out there, but I don't think it's catastrophic," Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial, which manages $81.6 billion for clients, said.
In other news, Germany called on the European Court of Justice to decide whether the European Central Bank has exceeded its authority with its Outright Monetary Transactions (OMTs). These allowed the central bank to buy up the bonds of distressed euro zone countries if yields rose to a level where they couldn't pay down their debt.
(Read More: Another EU crisis? German court threatens ECB plan)
In China overnight, data from HSBC showed growth in the services sector fell to a near two-and-a-half-year low in January, the latest piece of data to confirm a slowdown.
Statoil shares rise
The basic resources sector was the standout gainer in trade, finishing the day up 1.7 percent. Arcelormittal and Vedanta Resources closed higher by around 0.8 and 4.3 percent respectively, with the former unveiling upbeat forecasts for the year ahead and highlighted growth in European steel consumption.
In other stocks news, Statoil shares closed higher by around 5.7 percent — the biggest gainer on the STOXX Europe 600 — despite announcing it was abandoning its 2020 production target and sharply reducing its capital expenditure plans. Its results for the fourth quarter were also described as "underwhelming" by analysts at Sarasin Research.
(Read More: Statoil cuts investment plans, drops output goal)
Assa Abloy closed up 2.2 percent after the Swedish lock maker announced a profit for its fourth quarter and raised its dividend.
Finnish mining technology company Outotec saw its shares provisionally closed down 10.4 percent after its fourth-quarter earnings missed market expectations.
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