European shares ended little changed on Friday, with many investors happy to close out positions after three weeks of gains ahead of the start of the U.S. fourth-quarter earning season on Monday.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> of European shares ended the day down 0.04 percent at 1,013.01 points, and up 1.2 percent on the week, which saw encouraging data from the United States and China momentarily offset concerns about the euro zone.
The index rallied to its intraday high of 1022.68 in the afternoon after U.S. non-farm payrolls data showed employment grew solidly last month.
Traders said the positive reading had already been factored in after better-than-expected private sector jobs data on Thursday raised market expectations ahead of Friday's release.
Much of the good news has already been priced into the market in the past few days, so the focus is shifting to the start of next week's earnings, Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital, said.
Euro zone banks <.SX7E> once again weighed on the FTSEurofirst as they fell 2.2 percent on fears relating to their ability to raise cash in the market, as well as the huge sovereign refinancing needs of the region's countries.
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa)