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Europe: Shares fall as Daimler weighs, Sino-US trade news awaited


[BENGALURU] Weak German economic data and a profit warning from Daimler weakened European stock markets on Monday as investors reined in any bets on a fourth week of gains before G-20 meetings that may see more trade talks between the US and Chinese presidents.

Up 4 per cent so far in June, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.25 per cent lower on the day, with most of its major component markets in the red, led by a 0.5 per cent dip in Frankfurt's DAX.

London's FTSE rose 0.1 per cent thanks to gains in defensive plays including healthcare stocks. Traders also pointed to the weakness of the pound, which tends to boost the index's internationally-focused firms.

The main European index has shown signs of flagging in the past week after recouping almost all of its losses from a sharp sell-off in May, helped by expectations of more monetary stimulus globally.

Corporate newsflow continues to point to a slowdown in growth and Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler dropped 3.8 per cent after it cut its 2019 earnings outlook and lifted provisions for issues related to its diesel vehicles by hundreds of millions of euros.

"The endless array of so-called one-time effects (on Daimler) raises questions regarding process, management information systems and ultimately accountability of management," Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a research note.

Peers Volkswagen AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG also slipped, taking the European auto sector down 1.2 per cent.

That, allied to data showing German business morale fell to its lowest level since November 2014 in June, saw the DAX post its worst session in a week.

US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to discuss trade on the sidelines of the summit in Japan, after talks to reach a broad deal broke down last month with the U.S. accusing China of reneging on previous commitments.

"The outcome from the Trump-Xi meeting promises significant implications for investors who are finalizing their outlooks for the second half of 2019," wrote Han Tan, Market Analyst at FXTM in a note.

"While the ... meeting is a meaningful step towards de-escalating tensions, markets could also be left disappointed."

The biggest gainer on Europe's main index was MorphoSys , up almost 6 per cent after it presented data showing its blood cancer drug met its main goal in a study.