European shares broadly lower; auto stocks stall on US import tariff talk

European shares are flat to a little lower Thursday afternoon, weighed down by German carmakers as the US launches an investigation into the foreign car industry's effect on the US car industry.

European shares broadly lower; auto stocks stall on US import tariff talk

European shares are trading broadly a little lower in the mid-afternoon Thursday, although financial and tech stocks are generally on the up. However, German carmaker stocks are losing ground amid news the US has launched an investigation into the car industry which could lead to new import tariffs.

By 1330 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was down 0.03% and the EUROSTOXX 50 had lost 0.06%. Regional bourses, meanwhile, were a little mixed. The German DAX was off 0.30%, while the French CAC rose 0.04% and the Spanish IBEX was 0.20% in the green.

Carmakers struggle

News emerged Wednesday that the US could impose new car import tariffs. The US Commerce Department is launching an investigation into the impact of foreign auto imports on its own auto industry.

“There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from abroad have eroded our domestic auto industry,” said Wilbur Ross, US commerce secretary, said in a statement.

“The Department of Commerce will conduct a thorough, fair, and transparent investigation into whether such imports are weakening our internal economy and may impair the national security,” Ross added.

German carmakers in particular are losing ground in the wake of the news:

  • BMW shares fell 3.17% to €86.18.
  • Daimler shares lost 3.16% to hit €64.96.
  • Volkswagen shares slipped 2.83% €166.90.

Other stock movers

Aside from carmaker stocks, there were some other interesting moves of note, Thursday.

Deutsche Bank shares are down 3.67% after CEO Christian Sewing fleshed out job cut plans and said at least 7,000 positions would be axed as the bank works on speeding up its restructure process.

Another notable faller was Arytza shares which plunged over 20% to CHF16.48. The Swiss food firm reported a 17% profit fall and reduced it full-year guidance – again.

Paddy Power Betfair shares moved 2.84% higher to £8,875 after agreeing to a merger with US fantasy sport firm Fan Duel.

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