LONDON -- European shares fell Tuesday as another rise in crude-oil futures fueled more concerns about how companies such as auto makers will cope with rising costs and slowing economic growth.
Auto stocks also were hit by a deal that nearly doubled the price of iron ore, which could feed into steel costs.
The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index dropped 0.8%, its fifth straight decline, to 292.54, its lowest close since March 17. The index has fallen 19.8% so far this year.
Among auto stocks, Fiat skidded 8.2% in Milan. It has plunged 19% in five sessions, in part on comments by its chief executive officer last week warning that the market for new cars in Italy this month is disastrous. Porsche fell 3.8% and Volkswagen lost 1.6%, both in Frankfurt, and Renault shed 1.6% in Paris.
Among major national indexes, the FTSE 100 index fell 0.6% to 5634.70, the German DAX 30 index dropped 0.8% to 6536.06 and the French CAC-40 index declined 0.8% to 4473.76.
Deutsche Post fell 1.5% in Frankfurt after U.S. peer UPS /zigman2/quotes/201245396/composite UPS -0.17% issued a profit warning late Monday, citing high oil prices.
Other companies vulnerable to a slowdown in demand include construction-related stocks; Saint Gobain lost 1.3% in Paris.
British homebuilders fell after data showed that mortgage approvals fell to the lowest level since records began in 1997. Taylor Wimpey fell 12%.
Kesa dragged down other U.K. retailers after the electronics store warned of difficult business conditions. Its stock slumped 9.6% in London.
BG Group fell 1.9% in London as the natural-gas producer unveiled a bid for Origin Energy, Australia's largest coal-seam-gas producer. The offer to shareholders came less than a month after Origin's board rejected a friendly bid at the same price.
NYSE Euronext rose 1.2% in Paris after the exchange agreed to purchase a 25% stake in the Doha Securities Market for $250 million as part of a strategic partnership with the Qatar stock exchange. London Stock Exchange, which lost out on the deal, fell 4% in London.
Troubled U.K. mortgage bank Bradford & Bingley shot up 17% after an approach from investment vehicle Resolution signaled that a second group wants to control the lender.
Write to Sarah Turner at email@example.com