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European shares fall as auto stocks bear the brunt of trade tariff worries

European shares are negative across the board Friday, as ongoing trade tensions weigh on investor sentiment. Car stocks are particularly sensitive right now, as the US is working towards its next tariff plan to raise import taxes on autos brought to the US from other countries.

By 1235 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was off 0.19%, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was 0.26% in the red. Regional bourses were equally downbeat. The German DAX fell 0.51%, the French CAC was 0.43% lower and the Spanish IBEX lost 0.32%.

Car makers under pressure

Auto stocks are the big losers in European trade so far Friday, amid news the EU Commission is devising its own retaliatory car tariffs, even as the US works on its own auto import tariff plan.

Among the fallers are:

  • Daimler shares down 1.35% to hit €57.86.
  • BMW shares fell 1.50% to trade at €79.54.
  • Renault shares are off 1.47% at €73.04.
  • Peugeot shares are 2.83% in the red at €20.58.

Also weighing on investor sentiment are comments from US President Trump, that he wasn’t happy about the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates.

“I am not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them (the Fed) do what they feel is best,” Trump said in an interview.

Other stock movers

Aside from those market influences, there were other stock movers of interest, Friday morning.

Frankfurt-listed Steinhoff shares are lower, even though its creditors have agreed to a newly proposed debt lock-up scheme, which will give the retailer three-years breathing space until the next round of debt repayments are due.

After opening higher, Steinhoff shares fell 5.22% to €0.22.

Thales shares, meanwhile, gave back earlier gains to trade in the red, after the French tech firm announced a sharp 53% increase in its first-half net profit following strong sales growth. Thales shares are currently 0.04% lower at €113.00.

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