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Europe: Shares make timid gains while autos stocks stall

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A bounce across miners and oil stocks helped European stocks nudge higher in early trading on Thursday, though carmakers' shares came under pressure after the US launched a probe into auto imports.

[LONDON] A bounce across miners and oil stocks helped European stocks nudge higher in early trading on Thursday, though carmakers' shares came under pressure after the US launched a probe into auto imports.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 per cent by 0719 GMT, after falling more than 1 per cent from a 3 1/2-month peak in the previous session as worries over spending plans from Italy's new coalition and global trade weighed on risky assets.

Concerns over a US-China trade deal continued after US President Donald Trump said that any deal would need "a different structure".

German carmakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen dropped 1.7 to 2.3 per cent after the US launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new US tariffs.

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Germany's benchmark DAX index declined 0.1 per cent and Europe's autos sector was the worst-performing, losing 1.1 per cent.

However, a bounceback among miners and big oil stocks helped European indexes secure gains, with the FTSE 100 trading flat. Italy's FTSE MIB was up 0.7 per cent after Italy's president invited political novice Giuseppe Conte to be prime minister.

Aryzta was a standout faller among individual stocks. Shares in the Swiss food company slumped 26 percent after the firm cut its full year earnings outlook once more.

Elsewhere shares in Deutsche Bank inched 0.3 per cent higher after the bank said it would cut thousands of staff in a revamp of its investment bank.

REUTERS

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