German Shares Lead Europe Markets Lower

German shares led the way lower as most European equity markets lost ground Monday morning, with autos the biggest declining sector after downbeat data out of China added to the gloom hanging over investors from last week’s dismal U.S. jobs data.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index (XX:SXXP) -0.49% fell 0.4% to 234.25, after tumbling 3.1% last week and marking a fresh closing low for the year on Friday. The index has marked three straight negative sessions.

Data showing China’s services sector expanded at its weakest pace in more than a year, released Sunday, weighed on sentiment and added to data showing much weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data and continued turmoil for the euro zone, Market Watch reported.

The German DAX 30 index (DX:DAX) -1.24%tumbled 1% to 5,985.47, with auto groups Volkswagen AG (DE:VOW3) -3.72%dropping 2.7% and Daimler AG (DE:DAI) -1.73% off 1.5%. China is a major market for auto makers.

Other heavyweights in Germany, such as chemical major BASF SE (DE:BAS) -1.11% and business software group SAP AG SAP -3.63% (DE:SAP) -1.81% fell 1% and 1.7%, respectively.

London markets are closed Monday and Tuesday for public holidays to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The French CAC 40 index (FR:PX1) -0.20% fell 0.1% to 2,945.32, with auto group Renault SA (FR:RNO) -2.82% sliding 2.5% and tire maker Michelin (FR:ML) -1.90% losing 1.4%. Banks supported the index, with BNP Paribas SA (FR:BNP) +1.58% up 2.2% and Société Générale SA (FR:GLE) +1.19% and Credit Agricole SA (FR:ACA) +1.28% gaining 1.3% and 1.6%, respectively.

The Spain IBEX 35 index (XX:IBEX) +0.96% rallied 1% to 6,132.80, with banks such as Banco Santander SA (ES:SAN) +1.69% STD +0.19% lending support with a gain of nearly 2% and BBVA SA (ES:BBVA) +1.61% BBVA -0.17% up 1.6%. El País reported in its online edition on Monday that Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos is seeking to find ways to negotiate with Europe to recapitalize Spanish banks.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy over the weekend called for the creation of an establishment of a central authority to oversee and harmonize euro-zone fiscal policy, said media reports.

Data out of Spain on Monday showed unemployment falling 0.6% between May and April, though on an annual basis, over 500,000 people were added to jobless totals.