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European stocks pull back as auto makers, oil producers struggle

European stocks fell Monday, with shares of German auto makers and oil producers among those pushing the market toward a two-week low.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.52 was off 0.2% at 379.45, with only the industrial sector showing a minor gain. The index on Friday slid 1%, contributing to last week’s loss of 1.9%.

Early Monday, data showed the eurozone economy slowed in July, with Markit saying its composite Purchasing Managers Index fell to 55.8 in July from 56.3 in June. That was below the 56.2 reading expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Auto makers: Vehicle makers in German were under pressure following a report that Volkswagen AG had asked Europe’s antitrust watchdog to investigate decades of coordination efforts by the country’s main auto manufacturers amid growing concern they might have breached antitrust regulations.

Volkswagen shares VOW3, -2.79  fell 2.9%, Daimler AG DAI, -3.72 lost 3.1%, and BMW AG BMW, -2.03  slumped 2.5%.

Oil and OPEC: Meanwhile, the Stoxx Europe 600 Oil & Gas index SXEP, -0.87 fell 0.8% as oil prices CLU7, +0.35   declined . Investors are watching for word from a highly-anticipated meeting of oil ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers on Monday. Officials are expected to discuss how producers are complying with quotas set under an output cap agreement that began on Jan. 1.


Tullow Oil PLC TLW, -2.93  gave up 2.6%, Neste Corp. NESTE, -1.44  gave up 1.4% and Total SA FP, -0.83  lost 1%.

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