By Devik Jain and Amruta Khandekar
(Reuters) -European shares dropped sharply on Friday, after strong growth in U.S. jobs strengthened the case for the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates aggressively in its quest to stamp out high inflation.
The continent-wide STOXX 600 index was down 1.2%, logging a third straight session of declines.
The much-awaited non-farm payrolls data showed U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in September, while the unemployment rate dropped, fuelling bets of a fourth straight 75 basis point rate hike from the Fed next month.
"It (the data) doesn't really change the picture at all. It just reinforces the belief that the Fed isn't yet done tightening," said Daniela Hathorn, market analyst at Capital.com.
"We've got the unemployment rate at all-time lows and inflation at all-time highs and there's no need for the Fed to loosen monetary policy."
The data came on the heels of minutes from the European Central Bank's last meeting published on Thursday that had fanned fears of large interest rate hikes to contain surging inflation in the euro zone.
With Fed policymakers sticking to their hawkish rhetoric and adding to nerves around rising interest rates, investors will now watch out for September's consumer prices report next Thursday to gauge the outlook for future policy tightening.
Still, the STOXX index posted weekly gains of nearly 1%, as expectations that major central banks may tame their aggressive policy approach had briefly boosted equities in the first few sessions of the week.
The index logged its best weekly performance in a month.
Rate-sensitive technology stocks were down 4.3% on Friday, leading declines among STOXX sectors. They were followed by real estate stocks and industrials, which fell 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively.
European chipmakers including Infineon and BE Semiconductor fell between 3% and 7% after South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co and U.S. chipmaker AMD signalled the chip slump could be much worse than expected.
Adidas lost 5.2% after the German sporting goods maker put under review its business partnership with rapper and fashion designer Kanye West.
Renault jumped 4.9% after ODDO BHF upgraded the French carmaker's stock.
Credit Suisse rose 5.4% after the lender said it would buy back up to 3 billion Swiss francs ($3 billion) of senior debt securities, making a show of strength as it seeks to reassure investors after a tumultuous week.
(Reporting by Devik Jain and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Subhranshu Sahu, Uttaresh.V and Shinjini Ganguli)