Europe's main stock exchanges diverged on Friday after an unconvincing overnight rally on Wall Street and a number of broker downgrades to leading companies, analysts said.

Investors appeared unimpressed with the US gains, despite suggestions by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke of further rate cuts to help the American economy cope with a feared recession.

In late morning trade, London's FTSE 100 index dropped 0.43 percent to 6,195.70 points and the Paris CAC 40 slid 0.17 percent to 5,444.52 near the half-way stage.

On the upside, Frankfurt's DAX 30 firmed 0.14 percent to 7,723.51 points and the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone shares added 0.08 percent to 4,240.95.

The European single currency stood at 1.4772 dollars.