CAC 40 Slides As Automakers Drag

French stocks retreated on Tuesday as China reported 98 new deaths from coronavirus, taking the total in mainland China to 1,868. More than 72,000 people have now been infected in China and hundreds more abroad.

The World Health Organization has warned against a global over-reaction to the new coronavirus epidemic and said that measures should be taken proportional to the situation. "Blanket measures may not help," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

Meanwhile, Apple Inc has warned that it was unlikely to meet its March quarter sales forecast due to production delays caused by the deadly virus outbreak.

The benchmark CAC 40 was down 31 points, or 0.51 percent, to 6,055 after rising around 0.3 percent in the previous session.

Speed-train maker Alstom slumped 4.6 percent. The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bombardier Inc. and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation.

Automaker Renault lost 4.7 percent and Peugeot dropped 1.6 percent after industry data showed Europe's passenger car demand dropped in January.

Passenger car registrations contracted 7.5 percent year-on-year in January due to the uncertainty caused by U.K.'s departure from the European Union and weakening of global economic conditions.

Car sales dropped 13.4 percent year-on-year in France, the strongest fall among the main markets, and by 7.6 percent in Spain. Sales declined by 7.3 percent in Germany and 5.9 percent in Italy.

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