European benchmarks were broadly higher on Friday as investors reacted to yet more corporate earnings numbers and some solid Chinese data that helped to boost commodity shares across the continent.
The FTSE 100 rose by 0.40% to 7,258, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index struck a new high of 18,723, before closing the session 0.47% higher at 18,715.
In Germany, the DAX rose 0.21% to settle at 11,666, and the CAC 40 added 0.04% to close at 4,828.
Miners were buoyant throughout the session after Chinese trade balance numbers showed demand for steel and raw materials remaining steady at recent highs in January.
The trade surplus for China also rose sharply -- both in local currency as well as dollar terms -- following healthy movements in both imports and exports.
Iron ore and copper prices both rose by around 5% in London as a consequence.
In stock markets, commodity producers Antofagasta (ANFGY) , Rio Tinto (RIO) - Get Report , Anglo American (NGLOY) , BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get Reportand Glencore (GLNCF) all topped the FTSE 100, with gains ranging between 2.5% and 5.5%.
In the mid-market, shares of homewares retailer Dunelm (DNLMY) rose by more than 5% to near the top of the FTSE 250.
Friday's rally came as part of a move to pare losses after the company reported a poorer-than-expected half-year on Wednesday, with free cash-flow generation falling by 65% during the period.
In France, ArcelorMittal (MT) - Get Report recorded its first profit for five years in the fourth quarter, according to results released on Friday, after stronger steel prices boosted both the top and bottom lines. It also sounded a positive tone on the outlook for 2017, thanks to a more favorable environment in the U.S. and Brazil. The shares were up nearly 10% in Paris before the close.
Shares of electrical components distributor Legrand (LGRVF) also came in close to the top of the CAC 40 on Friday as it pared losses racked up on Thursday in the wake of its fourth-quarter and 2016 results.
European car maker Renault (RNSDF) beat estimates for full-year earnings, posting its best-ever set of results and upping its dividend. The shares were up around 1.5% just before the close.
The numbers coming out of Paris on Friday boosted middle-of-the-road carmakers across Europe, sending Volkswagen (VLKAY) more than 1.2% higher on the DAX in Frankfurt.
Also in Germany, steel and industrial giant ThyssenKrupp (TYEKF) saw its shares gain after ArcelorMittal's fourth-quarter results lifted the mood among investors in steel producers. ThyssenKrupp reported an in-line set of first-quarter results itself on Thursday. The shares were up by 2.5% shortly before the close in Frankfurt.