EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Pull Back As Auto Makers, Oil Producers Struggle

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07/24/2017 | 09:04 am

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch

Ryanair warns on fares

European stocks fell Monday, with shares of German auto makers and oil producers among those pushing the market toward a two-week low.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was off 0.2% at 379.45, with only the industrial sector showing a minor gain. The index on Friday slid 1%, contributing to last week's loss of 1.9%.

Early Monday, data showed the eurozone economy slowed in July , with Markit saying its composite Purchasing Managers Index fell to 55.8 in July from 56.3 in June. That was below the 56.2 reading expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Auto makers: Vehicle makers in German were under pressure following a report that Volkswagen AG had asked Europe's antitrust watchdog to investigate decades of coordination efforts by the country's main auto manufacturers amid growing concern they might have breached antitrust regulations.

Volkswagen shares (>> Volkswagen AG) fell 2.9%, Daimler AG (>> Daimler) lost 3.1%, and BMW AG (>> Bayerische Motoren Werke) slumped 2.5%.

Oil and OPEC: Meanwhile, the Stoxx Europe 600 Oil & Gas index fell 0.8% as oil prices declined . Investors are watching for word from a highly-anticipated meeting of oil ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers on Monday. Officials are expected to discuss how producers are complying with quotas set under an output cap agreement that began on Jan. 1.

Tullow Oil PLC (>> Tullow Oil) gave up 2.6%, Neste Corp. (>> Neste) gave up 1.4% and Total SA (>> Total SA) lost 1%.

Elsewhere on the Stoxx 600, budget carrier Ryanair Holdings PLC (>> Ryanair Holdings plc) fell 3.3% after the company warned about pressure on fares because of overcapacity.

Ryanair stuck to its outlook that ticket prices in the first half, including the key July-September travel period, could fall on average 5%, and decline by 8% in the October-March period. Off the FTSE 100, shares of Ryanair stumbled 3.8%.

Individual indexes: In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 index , which is heavily weighted by exporters such as car makers, fell 0.4% to 12,196.06. France's CAC 40 index moved down 0.3% to 5,103.18.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped 0.9% to 7,388.05.

Spain's IBEX 35 was off 0.4% but Italy's FTSE MIB edged up 0.1%.

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