Industrial output figures from the U.S. are likely to set the tone for afternoon trading.
LONDON (The Deal) -- European stock indices held firm and Asian stocks rose after incoming Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen defended the central bank's bond-buying program during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday and said she sees no signs of equity "bubble-like conditions."
Meanwhile, the European Union's statistics arm said eurozone October consumer prices rose 0.7% year-on-year, down from a 1.1% inflation rate in September. Prices fell 0.1% on the month.
The fear of deflation was widely believed to be the trigger for last week's shock rate cut by the European Central Bank and Friday's figures, which matched expectations, confirmed the perception that the region's growth is slowing.
In Germany, the DAX slipped 0.05% to 9,144,57, and in Paris the CAC 40 was down 0.04% at 4,282.12. In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.33% to 6,688.43.
In Paris, Vivendi rose sharply after the media and telecoms group put a first-half time frame on the long-awaited spinoff of wireless services provider Societe Francaise de Radiotelephone as it published third-quarter earnings.
In Australia, GrainCorp plunged more than 4% to A$11.70 on a report that the government is poised to block a A$3.4 billion ($3.2 billion), or A$12.20 per share, bid from Decatur, Ill.-based Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). The ruling coalition comprises the free market Liberal Party and the National Party, which draws much of its support from rural Australia. National Party lawmakers have criticized the deal.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng climbed 1.69% to 23,032.15, and in Tokyo the Nikkei 225 gained 1.95% to 15,165.92 as the yen continued to decline.