June 21, 2018 / 7:47 AM / 3 months ago

European shares build on gains while autos sink on Daimler tariff hit

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LONDON, June 21 (Reuters) - Autos stocks were the outlier in a continued relief rally in European shares on Thursday, sinking after German carmaker Daimler warned profit would be hit by higher tariffs.

The autos sector sank 1.4 percent to a nine-month low while the pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.4 percent by 0730 GMT, riding on a wave of gains in Asian markets and Wall Street as no new salvos were exchanged in an ongoing U.S.-China trade spat.

Equity markets have been relatively resilient in the face of mounting trade concerns but fell broadly this week as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Daimler became the most high-profile European firm yet to factor higher tariffs into its outlook, warning profits would be hit by Chinese tariffs on car imports from the U.S.

Daimler shares fell 2.8 percent, BMW fell 1.9 percent and Volkswagen fell 1 percent. Tyre maker Continental fell 1.3 percent.

France's Peugeot fell 1.3 percent, a top CAC 40 loser, while auto supplier Valeo declined 0.5 percent.

Germany's DAX underperformed peers but still managed a 0.2 percent gain despite the carmakers' losses.

Healthcare stocks were the top boost to the index as Novo Nordisk jumped 4.4 percent to the top of the STOXX after the pharma company announced trial results for its oral diabetes drug.

Consumer staples stocks such as British American Tobacco , Unilever, ABInBev and Nestle were also top drivers of Europe's gains. The dollar earners have benefited from the recent strength in the dollar. (Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Danilo Masoni)

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