European stocks fall as car shares skid

Deutsche Bank drops on job cuts, while Aryzta plunges after profit warning

European stocks fell on Thursday as car industry shares came under pressure after the US launched an investigation into auto imports, while stocks were also weighed down by US president Donald Trump’s decision to cancel a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.


The Iseq market closed flat as decent gains for many stocks was offset by slips for some of the index's largest companies and a steeper drop for Swiss-Irish food company Aryzta. The baked-goods group slumped 27 per cent in both Dublin and Zurich, where it has its primary listing, after the firm cut its full-year earnings outlook once again.

The real estate investment trusts were among the best performers, with Hibernia Reit adding 2.3 per cent to €1.54 on a day when it said the value of its properties rose by 6.6 per cent in the year to the end of March.

Paddy Power Betfair climbed almost 3.2 per cent to €101 after it agreed a merger of its US unit with the sports site FanDuel. The bookmaker hopes to gain from an expected rise in sports betting after a US supreme court ruling legalised sports gambling in all states.


Food groups Glanbia and Kerry were also risers, but cider-maker C&C Group fell 2.2 per cent to €2.93.

Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa closed 0.3 per cent lower at €34.40 on a day when it acquired Dutch paper and recycling business Reparenco for €460 million.


The FTSE 100 fell 0.9 per cent in London, compounding a 1.1 per cent loss in Wednesday’s session. Internationally exposed stocks with overseas earnings slipped after the pound rose by the most in five weeks after better retail sales data.

Food ingredients firm Tate & Lyle gained 7 per cent after posting higher annual profits.

Shares in media group Daily Mail & General Trust ended almost 9.9 per cent lower after it reported lower revenue for the first half of its financial year.

Mid-cap industrial distribution firm Electrocomponents jumped 16 per cent after reporting double-digit growth in annual revenue and profit. Mediclinic International ended 9.42 per cent lower after the healthcare group said it had swung to a full-year pretax loss.


The Stoxx 600 index fell 0.5 per cent to an eight-day low, reversing earlier gains as global equities came under pressure after US president Donald Trump cancelled a planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Continued uncertainty over the make-up of the Italian government also weighed.

Italy’s FTSE MIB index fell 0.7 per cent to a fresh seven-week low after coalition parties called for the naming of a eurosceptic economy minister.

German carmakers Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen dropped 1.7 to 2.8 per cent after the US began a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new tariffs.

Germany’s benchmark Dax index fell 0.9 per cent and Europe’s autos sector was the worst-performing, losing 1.8 per cent.

Deutsche Bank touched its lowest level since September 2016, ending 4.8 per cent down after saying it would cut thousands of staff in a revamp of its investment bank.


Wall Street stocks pared losses sparked by the cancellation of the North Korea-US summit, but remained lower as investors assessed the move’s broader impact on trade relations and economic growth.

The S&P 500 Index and Dow Jones rebounded from session lows that followed the release of Trump’s letter to the Kim Jong-un.

Ford and General Motors gained on the possibility of tariffs on European and Asian car imports. US-listed shares of Fiat fell 1.6 per cent. Best Buy tumbled 7.68 per cent after the consumer electronics retailer reported a slowdown in quarterly online sales and did not update its full-year outlook.

– Additional reporting: Bloomberg / Reuters