European shares extend losing streak as autos, Ryanair drop

MILAN (Reuters) – European shares fell on Monday in a broad-based pullback led by declines in Ferrari (RACE.MI) and Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI) after deteriorating health forced Fiat’s CEO to quit, while a disappointing earnings update sent Ryanair (RYA.I) sharply lower.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

The STOXX 600 was down 0.2 percent at its close, posting its third straight day of losses as worries over trade tensions lingered following Washington’s threat last week to slap tariffs on $500 billion of Chinese imports.

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Ferrari both fell as much as 5 percent after CEO Sergio Marchionne fell seriously ill following complications from surgery, prompting an early change at the helm of both companies.

Jeep division head Mike Manley was named on Saturday to succeed Marchionne, one of the auto industry’s most tenacious and respected auto chiefs, as CEO of Fiat Chrysler.

“Sergio’s dealmaking and political skills will be missed as FCA faces trade/tariff uncertainty, some labor unrest in Italy and a constantly shifting landscape in Latin America,” Barclays analysts led by Brian Johnson wrote.

“We nevertheless believe that the investment case for margin expansion and eventual strategic options remains intact,” they added. Fiat shares clawed back some losses to end 1.5 percent lower, while Ferrari closed down 4.9 percent.

Ryanair (RYA.I) declined 6.7 percent after the Irish carrier said that average fares would be lower than expected during its key summer period due to high competition, unusually hot weather in Northern Europe and uncertainty caused by a series of strikes.

“Some sense from reading these results that the expected dent to the low-cost model from unionization etc is already feeding through to the bottom line, although it may be unwise to read too much into a single quarter’s numbers,” said analyst Neil Wilson.

“We note that full-year profit guidance remains unchanged… although this remains on the whims of French air traffic controllers, its own staff talks, Brexit and close-in Q2 fares,” he added.

Philips (PHG.AS) also fell after results. France’s Atos (ATOS.PA) dropped 6.7 percent after the French IT services company reported revenue growth of only 1.5 percent for the second quarter and said that it was going to buy Michigan-based IT services provider Syntel Inc (SYNT.O) in a $3.4 billion cash deal. [nL1N1UI0AT

Despite Monday’s disappointments and broader caution that any trade war escalation could slow global growth, analysts are upbeat about earnings growth in Europe, having been revising their estimates upwards over the past few weeks.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data, second quarter earnings for the STOXX are seen up 6.7 percent.

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