(RTTNews.com) - European stocks fell sharply on Tuesday to hover near two-month lows as a slew of profit warnings coupled with an escalating trade spat between the world's two biggest economies soured investors' appetite for risk.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.8 percent at 382.95 in late opening deals after falling more than 1 percent earlier in the day to hit its lowest level in almost two months.
The German DAX was losing 1.4 percent, France's CAC 40 index was down 1.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was declining half a percent.
Carmakers were among the major losers on concerns that more U.S. tariffs on car imports could be on the horizon. Renault, Peugeot, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen lost 1-2 percent.
German industrial conglomerate Siemens and global aerospace major Airbus fell around 2 percent each.
Netherlands-based telecom operator Altice dropped around 1 percent on reports that it may sell stake in its telecom towers business to private equity firm KKR.
Lower copper prices weighed on the mining sector, with Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore all losing about 2 percent.
Department stores group Debenhams lost about 8 percent in London after issuing another profit warning for the third time this year.
Similarly, Footasylum shares plunged 48 percent after the footwear retailer noted that trading since the beginning of the new financial year has been impacted by the widely documented weak consumer sentiment on the high street.
In economic releases, the euro area current account surplus declined to a 10-month low in April, the European Central Bank reported.
The current account surplus fell to 28.4 billion euros in April from 32.8 billion euros in March. This was the lowest surplus since June 2017.
Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank will remain patient in determining the timing of the first rate rise and will take a gradual approach to adjusting policy thereafter.
At a conference in Sintra, Portugal, Draghi said the bank stands ready to adjust all instruments as appropriate to ensure that inflation continues to move towards the target.
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