European shares give back gains, led lower by car stocks

European shares are lower Wednesday afternoon, giving back earlier gains after disappointing European car sales data weighs on auto stocks.

European shares give back gains, led lower by car stocks

European shares are lower Wednesday afternoon, weighed down by car stocks, despite a brighter start where tech stocks shone. Auto stocks lost ground after figures showed that European car sales slipped 23.4% in September, from a year earlier, as tougher emissions rules bite.

By 1500 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was down 0.42%, while the EUROSTOXX 50 lost 0.36%. Regional bourses were also negative. The German DAX fell 0.58%, the French CAC was 0.58% in the red and the Spanish IBEX was off 0.93%.

European car sales slump

After a positive start to the Wednesday trading session, which was boosted by upbeat earnings from Dutch-based tech firm ASML’s stronger-than-expected earnings, figures showing a near 24% decline in car sales across European during September, weighed heavily on car stocks.

The sales slump came as new rules on emissions during the month, had led to a surge in sales during the summer – meaning September proved a slow month for car sales.

However, the size of the car sales decline weighed on European auto stocks. Fallers included:

  • BMW shares slipped 0.99% to €75.
  • Volkswagen shares lost 0.56% to €146.60.
  • Fiat shares sank 3.97% to €13.90.
  • Peugeot shares were 4.62% lower at €20.65.

Other stock movers

The mixed tone of the session so far, included other interesting stock movers, Wednesday.

Azko Nobel shares rose as the Dutch-based paints maker reported an 8% increase in third quarter profits, amid higher prices and cost savings, during the period. The company also said it remains on course to achieve growth of 15%, by 2020.

Azko Nobel shares rose 2.89% to €76.22.

At the other end of the scale, Fresenius Medical shares slumped 16.40% to €71.66. The drop was driven as the German medical supplies firm reported an 8% drop in income, during the third quarter and reduced its income growth target to between 11% and 12% from 13%-15%.

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