By Steve Goldstein
European stocks on Friday were limping toward their second-worst weekly finish in the year.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.97% fell 0.3% to 466.08.
The 2% weekly fall, as of midday, is the worst since the 2.4% retreat in the week ending Feb. 26.
The automotive sector paced Friday’s retreat, as Volkswagen /zigman2/quotes/203434344/delayed XE:VOW3 -1.07% said it would cut production at its main plant in Wolfsburg due to a shortage of microchips, an issue hitting the entire industry.
Travel and leisure sector companies also struggled, with CTS Eventim /zigman2/quotes/206578865/delayed XE:EVD -2.89% , Deutsche Lufthansa /zigman2/quotes/201210530/delayed XE:LHA -1.55% and Wizz Air Holdings /zigman2/quotes/210449062/delayed UK:WIZZ -2.95% losing ground.
Of the major regional indexes, the German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -1.01% declined 0.5%, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.94% declined 0.4%, and the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.63% declined 0.2%.
Marks & Spencer /zigman2/quotes/206225481/delayed UK:MKS -0.63% was the top-performing Stoxx 600 company, surging 11%, after saying full-year profit would come in above the top end of analyst forecasts.