The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.8%, hitting its highest level since Nov. 15, while the more domestically-focussed FTSE 250 midcap index added 0.5%.

A private survey showed China's factory activity unexpectedly expanded in November, pushing China-exposed miners 3.7% higher. [MET/L]

Compounding gains, Antofagasta and Anglo American jumped 4.1% and 6.2%, respectively, after UBS upgraded the mining majors to a "buy" rating.

Precious metal miners added 2.0%, tracking a rise in precious metals prices. [GOL/]

On Friday's data front, mortgage lender Nationwide said British house prices rose unexpectedly in monthly terms for the third time running in November, adding to signs that the housing market downturn has abated.

"The recent drop in market expectations for Bank Rate means mortgage rates now look set to fall further and faster than we previously had anticipated," said Gabriella Dickens, senior UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Real estate, real estate investment trusts <.FTNMX351020> and homebuilders rose between 0.4% and 1.6%.

Both the benchmark indexes posted monthly gains in November on hopes that major central banks were nearing the end of their interest rate hikes.

Yields on British government bonds fell on Friday, while the pound hit a fresh 2-1/2-month high versus the euro. It was up 0.3% against the dollar.

Meanwhile, a final reading of November S&P Global/CIPS manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 47.2 against expectations of 46.7.

Looking ahead, comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, due later in the day, would be on investors' radar.

Among individual stocks, Pearson fell 1.8% after Deutsche Bank downgraded the education company's stock to "hold" from "buy".

Ceres Power Holdings plunged 15.7% after the clean energy tech developer said that an agreement with a new licensee was unlikely to be signed.

(Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Eileen Soreng)

By Shashwat Chauhan