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European markets close lower amid earnings; Fiat Chrysler chief steps down

Key Points
  • Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been replaced abruptly after nearly a decade at the helm, given worsening health conditions.
  • Ryanair reported that average fares would be lower than expected this summer amid market competition and uncertainty caused by several strikes.

European markets closed lower on Monday as investors digested fresh earnings.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally 0.19 percent lower with most sectors and bourses in negative territory.

Auto stocks were under pressure, down by 0.28 percent, as trade concerns weighed on sentiment. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is heading to the White House this week in an attempt to persuade the U.S. not to impose tariffs on European carmakers. The meeting comes after finance leaders from the world’s 20 biggest economies failed to reach a significant agreement on trade at a meeting over the weekend.

Furthermore, auto stocks were also impacted by news that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been replaced abruptly after nearly a decade at the helm, due to concerns around his health. Fiat Chrysler was down by 1.5 percent while Ferrari, which was also led by Marchionne, dropped 4.88 percent on the news.

Looking across the European index, Ryanair shares dropped 6.69 percent, making it among the biggest losers Monday. The airline reported that average fares would be lower than expected this summer amid market competition and uncertainty caused by several strikes. Travel and leisure stocks were among the worst performing in Europe, down 0.96 percent.

Atos was the worst performing stock, down 6.74 percent. The French firm released its half-year financial statement along with the announcement of a $3.4 billion acquisition of U.S.-based company Syntel on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks began the week lower as traders anticipated earnings news from tech giants including Google, Facebook and Amazon. Second-quarter U.S. GDP figures are also set to be released Friday.