July 24, 2017 / 7:31 AM / 2 years ago

Autos, airlines smoked in sluggish start to European trading week

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - European shares dipped on Monday with the autos sector hitting its lowest level this year after anti-trust regulators opened an investigation into regional carmakers while worries on escalating price wars hurt airlines.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.2 percent as gains in the heavyweight financials sector helped offset losses elsewhere. Euro zone bluechips also fell 0.2 percent.

Gemalto plummeted as much as 17 percent, the worst performer on the day, after the digital security company warned on profits for the fourth time since October on Friday after trading, citing continued weakness in its SIM-card and U.S. payments operations.

Budget airline Ryanair fell 4.7 percent, a top European loser, after it warned summer fares would face sharp cuts, though it reported profit soared 55 percent in its first quarter.

Shares in carmakers across Europe fell after European Union antitrust regulators said they were investigating allegations of a cartel amongst them.

Volkswagen, Peugeot, Daimler , Renault and BMW all fell 1.2 to 2.5 percent, sending the autos index down 1.6 percent, the worst-performing sector.

Among leading gainers was B&M European Value Retail , up 4.1 percent after a report that Asda, the British supermarket arm of U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart, was considering a 4.4 billion pound takeover bid.

Switzerland’s third largest private bank Julius Baer jumped 6.5 percent after reporting its biggest inflows since the financial crisis for its first half, helped by a push to recruit more private bankers.

Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Vikram Subhedar

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