Shares in Mercedes maker Daimler fell 2.5 percent in early trade on Thursday after a report accusing the carmaker of possibly selling more than a million cars with excess emissions in Europe and the United States.
On Wednesday, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, citing a search warrant issued by a Stuttgart court reported that prosecutors were examining the possible use of illegal software to manipulate emissions tests in Mercedes-Benz vehicles between 2008 and 2016.
The dollar was lower against a currency basket on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that rate hikes would gradual, while the Canadian dollar was near 13-month highs after its country’s central bank hiked interest rates.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.26% to 95.30 by 03.12 AM ET, close to the nine-month low of 95.22 plumbed in late June.
In testimony before Congress on Wednesday, Yellen said the economy is on a strong enough footing for the Fed to raise rates and begin winding down its massive bond portfolio.
She also emphasized that inflation is below target and noted that it is a particular “uncertainty” that could affect monetary policy.
Oil prices were lower in European trade on Thursday, as concern over rising production in the U.S. and elsewhere dampened sentiment.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude August contract was at $45.30 a barrel by 3:45AM ET (0745GMT), down 18 cents, or around 0.4%.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for September delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London slipped 19 cents to $47.55 a barrel.
Oil ended higher on Wednesday after U.S. government data confirmed a sharp decline in domestic crude supplies for a second week in a row. Prices, however, ended off the best levels of the session, as rising production in the U.S. underlined concern over a supply glut.
German retailer Metro (DE:MEOG) completed its split into two companies on Thursday as its food business and consumer electronics division started trading independently on the Frankfurt and Luxembourg stock exchanges.
Metro hopes the split will allow the independent companies to pursue more acquisitions and trigger a revaluation of the stock as Metro has traded at a discount to other pure wholesale retailers such as Sysco (N:SYY) and Britain’s Booker (L:BOK).
“We welcome the split as it is likely to unlock value for investors,” Equinet analysts Christian Bruns and Mark Josefson, who rated the combined company a “buy”, wrote in a note.
However, the companies have warned that trading is likely to be volatile in the early days, especially as the split means adjustments are needed in the German mid-cap index (MDAXI) in which Metro was listed.