Europe Markets

European shares close week 2.9% lower

European market closes lower
European market closes lower

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.

European markets

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.

Germany's benchmark DAX underperformed, closing unofficially down 2.1 percent on the day. Portugal's stock exchange saw the brunt of the selling and its main stock index closed down around 3 percent.

The U.K. FTSE 100 and French CAC 40 closed provisionally down 0.8 percent and 1.0 percent respectively.

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.

Earnings news

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.

Read MoreSocGen posts profit rise; ups litigation provision

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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