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European shares fall for second day as automakers skid

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[LONDON] European shares fell on Friday following some disappointing company news, with automaker Daimler sliding after its results and a planned probe into its emissions certification process, while poor sales also hit luxury group Kering.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.5 per cent in early trading, although it remained on track for its second straight week of gains.

The European auto sector index fell 2.4 per cent, the top sectoral decliner, dragged down by a 4.7 per cent drop in Daimler after its first-quarter operating profit fell 9 per cent. The company also said it will be conducting an internal investigation into the certification process related to exhaust emissions in the United States.

Rival PSA Peugeot Citroen also fell 2.5 per cent after it was raided by anti-fraud investigators on Thursday as part of ongoing investigations on pollutants in the automobile sector.

French luxury group Kering's shares were down 3.2 per cent after its flagship Gucci brand posted a lower-than-expected rise in first-quarter sales on Thursday amid a difficult environment for the luxury sector. The Kering group overall posted lower first-quarter sales than expectations.

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However, shares in Zodiac Aerospace surged 12 per cent on signs of bid interest for it from Safran.


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