European markets opened higher on Friday, taking cues from upbeat Chinese economic data.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.2% higher to 304.68.

Britain's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX 30 index opened 0.2% higher.

France's CAC 40 index opened 0.1% higher.

Spain's IBEX 35 was up 0.09% and Italy's FTSE MIB gained 0.06% in opening trade.

On Friday, China reported stronger-than-expected industrial output growth for the month of July. Industrial production grew at its fastest pace since February and rose 9.7% last month from a year ago. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires and Reuters expected output to increase by 9%.

Earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed China's consumer price inflation held steady in July and remained below the government's 3.5% target. Consumer prices rose 2.7% year-on-year last month. Economists expected prices to increase by 2.8%.

Market participants in the UK will be tracking British trade balance data. The Bank of England (BoE) expects UK's economic growth to reach pre-crisis levels by the end of 2014, supported by loose monetary policy.

Britain's economy appears to be embarking on a steady recovery. Growth accelerated to 0.6% in the second quarter, up from 0.3% in the opening three months. Private industry data from the beginning of the third quarter suggests momentum has gathered pace again, with service sector activity hitting a six-and-a-half year high.

In company news, British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline proposes to increase focus on bioelectronic medicines with a new venture capital fund, mandated to invest in companies developing the so-called "medicines of the future".

The $50m (£32m, €37m) fund - called Action Potential Venture Capital - will complement the work of GSK's bioelectronics research division, which was created last year. It will invest in five to seven companies over the next five years, GSK said in a statement on Thursday.

In Asia and the US

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei finished 0.07% higher on Friday. Australia's S&P/ASX closed 0.19% lower and South Korea's Kospi ended 0.17% lower.

Earlier in Asia, markets traded lower in the afternoon session, reversing modest gains despite two waves of upbeat economic data from China.

According to IG Markets strategist Stan Shamu, better-than-expected Chinese trade data for July, released on Thursday, helped improve sentiment in global markets.

On Wall Street, indices ended higher on Thursday following upbeat Chinese trade data.

The Dow finished 27.65 points higher at 15,498.32. The S&P 500 index closed 6.57 points higher at 1,697.48 and the Nasdaq Composite ended 15.12 points higher at 3,669.12.