European stocks fell on Thursday as carmaker shares came under pressure after the United States launched an investigation into auto imports, while Deutsche Bank dropped after announcing thousands of job cuts.
The STOXX 600 index fell 0.5% to an 8-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% to a fresh 7-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% after the United States began a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new US tariffs.
Germany’s benchmark DAX index fell 0.9% and Europe’s autos sector was the worst-performing, losing 1.8%.
Deutsche Bank touched its lowest level since September 2016, ending 4.8% down after saying it would cut thousands of staff in a revamp of its investment bank.
Analysts at KBW Research said in a note they found Deutsche Bank’s finalised business review “disappointing”, adding: “With the revenue loss from front office staff headcount reductions and expectations already at management target levels, we believe this is priced in and therefore leaves execution risk.”
Deutsche Bank’s shares are down more than 31% so far this year.
Aryzta was a standout faller among individual stocks. Its shares slumped 27% after the Swiss food company cut its full-year earnings outlook once more.
Industrial distribution firm Electrocomponents jumped 16% after reporting double-digit growth in annual revenue and profit, while food ingredients firm Tate & Lyle rose 7% after posting higher annual profits.