European shares reaccelerated losses on Friday afternoon to close sharply lower, despite a weak employment report from the U.S. tempering concerns about an forthcoming U.S. interest rate hike.
The official data from the U.S. showed nonfarm payrolls increased by a less-than-expected 209,000 in July and the jobless rate rose to 6.2 percent
"Today's jobs number is a 'bad news is good news' kind of thing,' as it helps defer the view that the Fed funds rate may see lift off sooner than estimated," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed at 1,333 points on Friday, down 1.2 percent on the day and 2.9 percent on the week.
All major country bourses remained down on the day though.
Losses had accelerated in the morning following a global market selloff that started on Thursday. Traders gave a range of reasons for the drop, including concerns included Europe's flagging economy, a jump in U.S. labor costs, and Argentina's debt default.
On the data front, a batch of PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) readings showed euro zone manufacturing activity fell back slightly in July. Markit's final number came in at 51.8, matching June's reading but below an earlier flash estimate of 51.9.
France's Societe Generale fell victim to the market sell-off, despite reporting a 7.8 percent rise in net profit on Friday. Its shares closed around 1.2 percent lower.
But despite the widespread caution, some companies closed in the black after posting earnings.
Shares of airline owner closed up around 2.2 percent after the Anglo-Spanish company reported a tip into profit in the first half of the year.
Car insurer Direct Line shares closed over 5 percent higher on figures showing a boost in pretax profit.
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