The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.1 percent at 8:11 GMT, but remained below its three-month high hit earlier in the week.
European retail fell 0.6% on Black Friday, which kicks off the holiday shopping season, although it comes amid a worsening cost-of-living crisis and the distraction of this year’s soccer World Cup.
The index is among the worst performing sectors in Europe, down 32% since the start of the year.
However, the benchmark STOXX 600 index was also poised for a sixth consecutive week of gains after signs that the US Federal Reserve may ease the pace of interest rate hikes.
Investors on Thursday largely ignored the minutes of the European Central Bank’s October meeting, which showed that policymakers feared that inflation was taking hold and interest rates should continue to rise.
Meanwhile, data on Friday showed that the German economy grew slightly stronger in the third quarter than suggested preliminary numbers, buoyed by consumer spending.